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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview

Five Challenges When Managing Mass Casualty or Disaster Situations: A Review Study

1
School of Health Studies, Örebro University, 701 82 Örebro, Sweden
2
Institute for Disaster and Emergency Management, 141 69 Berlin, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(9), 3068; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17093068
Received: 31 March 2020 / Revised: 16 April 2020 / Accepted: 22 April 2020 / Published: 28 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prehospital and Disaster Medicine and Crises Management)
Background: Managing mass casualty or disaster incidents is challenging to any person or organisation. Therefore, this paper identifies and describes common challenges to managing such situations, using case and lessons learned reports. It focuses on sudden onset, man-made or technologically caused mass casualty or disaster situations. Methods: A management review was conducted based on a structured search in the PubMed and Web of Science databases. Results: The review included 20 case—and lessons learned reports covering natural disasters, man-made events, and accidents across Europe, the United States of Amerika (USA), Asia and the Middle East. Five common challenges were identified: (1) to identify the situation and deal with uncertainty, (2) to balance the mismatch between the contingency plan and the reality, (3) to establish a functional crisis organization, (4) to adapt the medical response to the actual and overall situation and (5) to ensure a resilient response. Conclusions: The challenges when managing mass casualty or disaster events involved were mainly related to the ability to manage uncertainty and surprising situations, using structured processes to respond. The ability to change mind set, organization and procedures, both from an organizational- and individual perspective, was essential. Non-medical factors and internal factors influenced the medical management. In order to respond in an effective, timely and resilient way, all these factors should be taken into consideration. View Full-Text
Keywords: mass casualty situation; crises management; disaster management; incident command; contingency planning; disaster response mass casualty situation; crises management; disaster management; incident command; contingency planning; disaster response
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hugelius, K.; Becker, J.; Adolfsson, A. Five Challenges When Managing Mass Casualty or Disaster Situations: A Review Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 3068. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17093068

AMA Style

Hugelius K, Becker J, Adolfsson A. Five Challenges When Managing Mass Casualty or Disaster Situations: A Review Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(9):3068. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17093068

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hugelius, Karin; Becker, Julia; Adolfsson, Annsofie. 2020. "Five Challenges When Managing Mass Casualty or Disaster Situations: A Review Study" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 17, no. 9: 3068. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17093068

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