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Health Services Study: An Assessment of Health Services Sought by and Rendered to Injured Persons Following a Mass Casualty Event


To assess the medical needs and access to medical services in a community following a mass casualty event; and to assess receipt of care for those with event-related injuries or conditions, including those with special needs.

Who would use the data?

Medical and public health professionals, and other community policy makers and planners who must prepare for future mass casualty events.


  • Feliciano DV, Anderson GV, Rozycki GS, et al. Management of casualties from the bombings at the Centennial Olympics. The American Journal of Surgery 1998;176(6): 538-43.
  • McArthur DL, Peek-Asa C, Kraus JF. Injury hospitalizations before and after the 1994 Northridge, California earthquake. American Journal of Emergency Medicine 2002; 18(4):361-66.

Research Questions:

  • What services were available?
  • How many people sought and received care during the immediate aftermath? Where was care sought and received in relation to the event?
  • What special needs populations were directly affected and in need of care following the event? What services were they in need of? Were they given special consideration/priority in treatment?


  • Target population: Anyone with event-related injuries who sought medical services immediately following the event.
  • Study design: Cross-sectional medical record abstraction; surveys and interviews with hospital/ED administrators, and supervisory caregivers.

Data Sources:

  • Primary data source: ED records, disaster medical assistance teams
  • Secondary data source: American Red Cross

Sample Variables:

  • From interview of facility representative: Type of establishment (hospital, clinic, etc.), number of staff or specialist on duty, hours of operation, address, site of operation.
  • From medical records: Location when injured or when symptoms began, date and time of patient admission and/or discharge, presenting diagnosis, severity of injury, prescribed treatment, where and when prescribed treatment was administered.
  • From contacting survivors: Special needs, condition of special need, where the patient went for first and subsequent medical care, barriers to receiving care, and how patient identified services.

Time Frame:

Immediate up to one week following the event.

Potential Partners/Collaborators:

State and local health departments and hospitals, local university researchers, especially schools of public health and medicine, and CDC, NCIPC staff.

IRB needed:

Depends on how data are used.

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