This section will set up the stage for the entire book with the objective to better clarify its focus.
Planning to handle catastrophes should be according to the speed that the initial medical response requires to handle the increased number of patients, and the initial ratio between caregivers and patients.
From a medical perspective, the most difficult challenge is to respond to an event that occurred suddenly, without prior notice and with a large number of injured or contaminated patients. The Sarin gas attack in the Tokyo subway in 1995, where more than 5000 people were contaminated, the Madrid train bombings in 2004, with more than 2000 casualties and the Mass Shooting incident in Las Vegas in 2017, where more than 800 people were injured, are great examples of large-scale, unplanned mass casualty incidents.
Therefore, the definition and classification of disasters in this section is different than in other publications. It is the introduction of the concept of sudden mass casualty incident (SMCI).