Disaster Management and Preparedness

  • Susan Miller BriggsEmail author


The management of the medical effects of contemporary disasters, whether natural or man-made, is one of the most significant challenges facing medical providers today. Disaster medical care is NOT the same as conventional medical care. Disaster medical care requires a fundamental change (crisis management care) in the care of disaster victims.

The demands of disaster medical relief have changed over the past decade in the scope of medical care, the spectrum of threats, and the field of operations. Increasingly, civilian surgical teams, including critical care providers, are being asked to respond to complex disasters, with the spectrum of threats ranging from natural disasters to complex man-made disasters such as war and terrorism. Many contemporary disasters occur in “austere” environments. An austere environment is a setting where access, transport, resources, or other aspects of the physical, social, or economic environments impose severe constraints on the adequacy of immediate care for the population in need.


Mass casualty incident (MCI) Crisis management Incident Command system Triage Expectant victim Damage control Critical mortality 


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SurgeryHarvard Medical School, International Trauma and Disaster Institute, Massachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA

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