Planning for a medical surge incident: Is rehabilitation the missing link?


  • Kay Vonderschmidt, DSc, MPA, MS, NR-P



surge planning, rehabilitation, medical disaster planning


This mixed methods study explored surge planning for patients who will need rehabilitative care after a mass casualty incident. Planning for a patient surge incident typically considers only prehospital and hospital care. However, in many cases, disaster patients need rehabilitation for which planning is often overlooked. The purpose of this study was to explore this hidden dimension of patient rehabilitation for surge planning and preparedness and ask:

1. To what extent can an analysis of standard patient acuity assessment tools [Simple Triage and Rapid Treatment and Injury Severity Score] be used to project future demand for admission to rehabilitative care?

2. What improvements to medical disaster planning are needed to address patient surge related to rehabilitation?

This study found that standard patient benchmarks can be used to project demand for rehabilitation following a mass casualty incident, and argues that a reconceptualization of surge planning to include rehabilitation would improve medical disaster planning.

Author Biography

Kay Vonderschmidt, DSc, MPA, MS, NR-P

Graduate Student, Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, Alabama


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How to Cite

Vonderschmidt, DSc, MPA, MS, NR-P, K. “Planning for a Medical Surge Incident: Is Rehabilitation the Missing Link?”. American Journal of Disaster Medicine, vol. 12, no. 3, July 2017, pp. 157-65, doi:10.5055/ajdm.2017.0269.