Research Article| Volume 14, ISSUE 4, P445-454, July 1996

A hospital as victim and responder: The Sepulveda VA Medical Center and the Northridge earthquake

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      Many hospital emergency plans focus on the hospital as a disaster responder, with a fully operational medical facility, able to receive and treat mass casualties from a clearly defined accident scene. However, hospitals need to prepare a response for extreme casualty events such as earthquakes, tornadoes, or hurricanes. This article describes the planning, mitigation, response, and recovery of a major medical-surgical center thrust into a victim responder role following the devastating Northridge earthquake. The subsequent evacuation and care of patients, treatment of casualties, incident command, prior education and training, and recovery issues are addressed.


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