References & Resources
In the event of a catastrophic disaster, the resulting thousands of victims will overwhelm the resources of a community's healthcare system. In this dire scenario, which we refer to as a mass casualty event (MCE), it will be necessary to allocate scarce resources in a manner that is different from usual circumstances but appropriate to the situation. Making optimal decisions concerning the allocation of scarce resources could make a big difference in the degree to which healthcare systems continue to function; ultimately, it could mean saving many thousands of lives.
It is possible that a MCE could compromise, at least in the short term, the ability of local or regional health systems to deliver services consistent with established standards of care. The goal of the health and medical response to a MCE is to save as many lives as possible. To achieve this goal, health and medical care may have to be delivered in a manner that differs from the standards of care that apply under normal circumstances.
Members of the AMR Federal Disaster Response Team should be prepared to provide mass medical care with scarce resources and to use altered standards of care in MCE's. The following documents should help prepare to respond to MCE's.