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Ann Emerg Med. 2007 May;49(5):580-8. Epub 2006 Aug 28.

Use of an innovative design mobile hospital in the medical response to Hurricane Katrina.

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  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, NC 29232-2861, USA. Tom.Blackwell@Carolinashealthcare.org

Abstract

On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina caused widespread devastation to the Gulf Coast region of the United States. Although New Orleans had extensive damage from flooding, many communities in Mississippi had equal damage from storm surge and wind. Because the medical resources in many of these areas were incapacitated, resources from North Carolina were deployed to assist in the medical mission. This response included the initial use of Carolinas MED-1, a mobile hospital that incorporates an emergency department, surgical suite, critical care beds, and general treatment and admitting area. This asset, along with additional state resources, provided comprehensive diagnostic and definitive patient care until the local medical infrastructure was rebuilt and functional. The use of a mobile hospital may be advantageous for future deployments to large-scale disasters, especially when integrated with specialty teams.

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