Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Curr Opin Crit Care. 2005 Dec;11(6):585-9.

Disaster management teams.

Author information

  • 1Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical School, and International Trauma & Disaster Institute, Massachusetts General Hosplital, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.



All disasters, regardless of cause, have similar medical and public health consequences. A consistent approach to disasters, based on an understanding of their common features and the response expertise they require, is becoming the accepted practice throughout the world. This strategy is called the mass casualty incident response. The complexity of today's disasters, particularly the threat of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, has increased the need for multidisciplinary medical specialists as critical assets in disaster response. A review of the current literature emphasizes the expanding role of disaster management teams as an integral part of the mass casualty incident response.


The incident command system has become the accepted standard for all disaster response. Functional requirements, not titles, determine the organizational hierarchy of the Incident Command System structure. All disaster management teams must adhere to this structure to integrate successfully into the rescue effort. Increasingly, medical specialists are determining how best to incorporate their medical expertise into disaster management teams that meet the functional requirements of the incident command system.


Disaster management teams are critical to the mass casualty incident response given the complexity of today's disaster threats. Current disaster planning and response emphasizes the need for an all-hazards approach. Flexibility and mobility are the key assets required of all disaster management teams. Medical providers must respond to both these challenges if they are to be successful disaster team members.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
    Loading ...
    Support Center