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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 19(1); 2008 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2008;19(1): 22-30.
Hospital Disaster Preparedness in Korea: Aspect of Basic Supplies during a Disaster
Chang Hwan Sohn, Jae Chol Yoon, Bum Jin Oh, Won Kim, Kyoung Soo Lim
Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Ulsan, College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea. kslim@amc.seoul.kr
Hospital disaster plans usually involve evacuation of hospital patients, including discharge or transfer to non-affected hospitals or facilities. However, this is difficult in cases of isolated hospitals. Disaster plans for isolated hospitals, therefore, must account for the preparation of supplies that will allow survival of their patients when transfer is impossible. The aim of this study was to assess the disaster supply preparedness of isolated hospitals in Korea.
We surveyed hospitals to assess various aspects of their disaster preparedness: drinking water, food, fluids, wound dressing sets, suture sets, shelter, emergency generator systems, triage systems, and communication equipment. Preparedness was compared between hospitals according to their emergency department (ED) level.
We obtained complete data from 71 EDs of the 118 hospitals having emergency medical centers. Less than one fourth of these 71 EDs had reserve water (12.7%), food (7.0%), fluids (23.9%), dressing sets (21.1%), suture sets (21.1%) available for 3 days and emergency flashlights (4.2%), emergency blankets (16.9%), or portable oxygen tanks (4.2%) available enough during a disaster. Sixty-six EDs (93.0%) had emergency electric power, but independent EMC emergency electric power was available in only 7 (9.9%). A very small number of EDs had radiation detectors (15.5%), air shelters (11.3%), or decontamination tents (12.7%), with regional and specialized EMCs much more likely to have such supplies available than were local EMCs (p=0.008, 0.009, < 0.001, respectively).
This study provides preliminary nation-wide survey data for disaster preparedness of isolated hospitals in Korea. At present, EDs in the vast majority of isolated hospitals are insufficiently prepared with supplies and equipments to cope with emerging threats during a disaster.
Key words: Disaster planning, Equipment and supplies, Preparations
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