A multicasualty event: Out-of-hospital and in-hospital organizational aspects

Malka Avitzour, Meir Libergal, Jacob Assaf, Jakov Adler, Shaul Beyth, Rami Mosheiff, Amir Rubin, Zvi Feigenberg, Ruth Slatnikovitz, Rosa Gofin, Shmuel Chaim Shapira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


In a wedding celebration of 700 participants, the third floor of the hall in which the celebration was taking place suddenly collapsed. While the walls remained intact, all three floors of the building collapsed, causing Israel's largest disaster.To study the management of a multicasualty event (MCE), in the out-of-hospital and in-hospital phases, including rescue, emergency medical services (EMS) deployment and evacuation of casualties, emergency department (ED) deployment, recalling staff, medical care, imaging procedures, hospitalization, secondary referral, and interhospital transfer of patients.Data on all the victims who arrived at the four EDs in Jerusalem were collected through medical files, telephone interviews, and hospital computerized information.The disaster resulted in 23 fatalities and 315 injured people; 43% were hospitalized. During the first hour, 42% were evacuated and after seven hours the scene was empty. Ninety-seven basic life support ambulances, 18 mobile intensive care units, 600 emergency medical technicians, 40 paramedics, and 15 physicians took part in the out-of-hospital stage. At the hospitals, about 1,300 staff members arrived immediately, either on demand or voluntarily, a number that seems too large for this disaster. Computed tomography (CT) demand was over its capability.During this MCE, the authors observed "rotating" bottleneck phenomena within out-of-hospital and in-hospital systems. For maximal efficiency, hospitals need to fully coordinate the influx and transfer of patients with out-of-hospital rescue services as well as with other hospitals. Each hospital has to immediately deploy its operational center, which will manage and monitor the hospital's resources and facilitate coordination with the relevant institutions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1102-1104
Number of pages3
JournalAcademic Emergency Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • disaster management
  • emergency medical services
  • hospitals
  • mass-casualty event
  • multicasualty event

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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