Mass Casualty Incident Management Preparedness: A Survey of the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma

Am Surg. 2016 Dec 1;82(12):1227-1231.


Mass casualty incidents (MCIs) are events resulting in more injured patients than hospital systems can handle with standard protocols. Several studies have assessed hospital preparedness during MCIs. However, physicians and trauma surgeons need to be familiar with their hospital's MCI Plan. The purpose of this survey was to assess hospitals' and trauma surgeon's preparedness for MCIs. Online surveys were e-mailed to members of the American College of Surgeons committee on Trauma Ad Hoc Committee on Disaster and Mass Casualty Management before the March 2012 meeting. Eighty surveys were analyzed (of 258). About 76 per cent were American College of Surgeons Level I trauma centers, 18 per cent were Level II trauma centers. Fifty-seven per cent of Level I and 21 per cent of Level II trauma centers had experienced an MCI. A total of 98 per cent of respondents thought it was likely their hospital would see a future MCI. Severe weather storm was the most likely event (95%), followed by public transportation incident (86%), then explosion (85%). About 83 per cent of hospitals had mechanisms to request additional physician/surgeons, and 80 per cent reported plans for operative triage. The majority of trauma surgeons felt prepared for an MCI and believed an event was likely to occur in the future. The survey was limited by the highly select group of respondents and future surveys will be necessary.

MeSH terms

  • Civil Defense / statistics & numerical data*
  • Forecasting
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Mass Casualty Incidents* / classification
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Trauma Centers / statistics & numerical data
  • Traumatology / statistics & numerical data*
  • Triage
  • United States