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Health Services Study: An Assessment of Victim Transport to Medical Care During and Following a Mass Casualty Event


To assess patients’ transport to acute/medical care facilities following a mass casualty event; and to assess EMS response to injured persons following a mass casualty event.

Who would use the data?

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


  • Budiansky VM, DeJong R, Chesmochakova LA. Gagarin A, Loginov A, Effects of air and ground transport on physiological parameters of critically ill patients.
  • Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica 2001. [X 45 Suppl 115:75]

Research Questions:

  • How did patients with event-related injuries/conditions arrive at points of medical care delivery?
  • Was mode of arrival appropriate for presenting condition?
  • How was mode of transport related to patient outcomes?
  • Was any medical care (triage care) received at the event site or elsewhere before arriving at the medical care facility? What type of care was rendered? Where was care rendered?
  • When were transport services dispatched in relation to the event? How long did it take transport services to reach the injured/ill? What was the time between dispatch and patients’ arrival at points of medical care delivery?
  • What barriers existed to reaching the injured?


  • Target population: All persons with event related physical injuries
  • Study design: Cross-sectional medical record abstraction; surveys and interviews with hospital/ED, EMS, fire dept. administrators and attending physicians, charge nurses, and other supervisory caregivers.

Data Sources:

ED records, ambulance services, EMS, American Red Cross, and fire department records.

Sample Variables:

  • From hospital ED sheet: Date and time of patient admission and discharge, injury severity, presenting ED diagnosis, prescribed ED treatment, and mode of transport to ED.
  • From EMS, ambulance service, or fire department records: Cause of injury, location where injured, method of request for transport (physician referral, self-referral), type of service (EMS, ambulance, fire department, etc.), triage received, nature and extent of pre-hospital care rendered, and dispatch, load and ED arrival times.
  • From hospital administrative records or personnel interview: Number of hospital/clinic personnel on duty, hours of operation, address, and site of operation.

Time Frame:

Immediately (<24 hours) up to one-week post-event.

Potential Partners/Collaborators:

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

IRB needed:

Depends on how data are used.

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