Report Assesses Mass Casualty Event Response Strategies

Policymakers and health care professionals have little evidence on which to base their decisions when allocating scarce resources during such events, the new AHRQ report finds.

A report prepared by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's Southern California RAND Evidence-based Practice Center identifies areas where more research is needed to help policymakers and health care professionals who must allocate scarce resources during mass casualty events.

The researchers who wrote it reviewed multiple research databases and state plans, and they concluded no individual strategy to allocate resources during MCEs is the most effective, and commonly used field triage measures do not perform consistently.

The team was headed by Justin Timbie, Ph.D., and Dr. Art Kellerman, M.D. They identified strategies –- including having postal carriers deliver medicines to the public, which gets them to more people faster than making them available at a central location -- that affect the speed and efficiency of biological countermeasure dispensing during a bioterrorism attack or a flu pandemic.

More research is needed to identify the best methods, techniques, and technologies to employ, the team concluded.

Visit this site to access the "Allocation of Scarce Resources During Mass Casualty Events" report.

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