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Modeling Evacuation of a Hospital without Electric Power

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 April 2015

Eric D. Vugrin*
Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New MexicoUSA
Stephen J. Verzi
Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New MexicoUSA
Patrick D. Finley
Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New MexicoUSA
Mark A. Turnquist
Cornell University, Ithaca, New YorkUSA
Anne R. Griffin
Veterans Emergency Management Evaluation Center, US Veterans Administration, North Hills, CaliforniaUSA
Karen A. Ricci
Veterans Emergency Management Evaluation Center, US Veterans Administration, North Hills, CaliforniaUSA
Tamar Wyte-Lake
Veterans Emergency Management Evaluation Center, US Veterans Administration, North Hills, CaliforniaUSA
Correspondence: Eric D. Vugrin, PhD Sandia National Laboratories P.O. Box 5800 MS1138, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87185-1138 USA


Hospital evacuations that occur during, or as a result of, infrastructure outages are complicated and demanding. Loss of infrastructure services can initiate a chain of events with corresponding management challenges. This report describes a modeling case study of the 2001 evacuation of the Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, Texas (USA). The study uses a model designed to track such cascading events following loss of infrastructure services and to identify the staff, resources, and operational adaptations required to sustain patient care and/or conduct an evacuation. The model is based on the assumption that a hospital’s primary mission is to provide necessary medical care to all of its patients, even when critical infrastructure services to the hospital and surrounding areas are disrupted. Model logic evaluates the hospital’s ability to provide an adequate level of care for all of its patients throughout a period of disruption. If hospital resources are insufficient to provide such care, the model recommends an evacuation. Model features also provide information to support evacuation and resource allocation decisions for optimizing care over the entire population of patients. This report documents the application of the model to a scenario designed to resemble the 2001 evacuation of the Memorial Hermann Hospital, demonstrating the model’s ability to recreate the timeline of an actual evacuation. The model is also applied to scenarios demonstrating how its output can inform evacuation planning activities and timing.

VugrinED, VerziSJ, FinleyPD, TurnquistMA, GriffinAR, RicciKA, Wyte-LakeT. Modeling Evacuation of a Hospital without Electric Power. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2015;30(3):1-9

Special Report
© World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine 2015 

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