Shifting the paradigm of trauma medicine to positively influence critical mortality rates following a mass casualty event
Hall, Dana L.
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Medical providers, patients, and their families have always been able to enjoy the abundance of U.S. society. When medical resources exceed the demand for care, all necessary medical resources are used to improve the health or save the life of each individual. However, the health care system in the U.S. is severely under-prepared to care for hundreds to thousands of victims simultaneously from a mass casualty event (MCE). The influx of patients would severely overwhelm emergency rooms. Although global events indicate the U.S. must prepare, the medical community has historically been uncomfortable openly discussing standards of care during a mass casualty event because it is equated with the "rationing" of care. This thesis demonstrates through four case studies that critical mortality was reduced and a greater number of critically injured survived due to improved triage accuracy, rapid movement to definitive care, implementation of damage control procedures, and coordinated and collaborative regional preparedness. The medical community must appreciate that altering standards of care during a MCE does not reduce overall care rendered; rather care is strategically directed, so critical mortality is lowered.
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