Managing a Mega Mass Casualty Event by a Civilian Emergency Medical Services Agency: Lessons From the First Day of the 2023 Hamas-Israel War

Eli Jaffe, Oren Wacht, Nadav Davidovitch, Refael Strugo, Oren Blustein, Ido Rosenblat, Eli Bin, Stav Shapira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

On 7 October 2023, Israel faced an unexpected attack by Hamas, causing over 1,200 deaths and injuring more than 9,000 individuals. This report delves into the rapid medical response spearheaded by Israel’s civilian Emergency Medical Service, Magen David Adom (MDA), during this crisis. Utilizing data from MDA’s electronic database, 4,097 dispatch records from the day were analyzed. Of these, 39.3% were directly related to the attack. EMS teams faced multiple challenges, including handling an overwhelming number of casualties and navigating active combat zones, which impeded safe access to victims, posed significant risks to teams’ safety, and constrained patient evacuation strategies. This incident underscores the importance of reinforcing healthcare resilience, particularly emphasizing the need for centralizing various aspects of response efforts. These include streamlined communication, national coordination of pre-hospital resources, and systemic management of patient evacuations. Moreover, providing substantial support for EMS personnel, who operated in highly challenging conditions, is imperative.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1606907
JournalInternational Journal of Public Health
Volume69
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2024

Keywords

  • emergency medical response
  • healthcare resilience
  • mass casualty event (MCE)
  • pre-hospital care
  • terrorist attack

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Managing a Mega Mass Casualty Event by a Civilian Emergency Medical Services Agency: Lessons From the First Day of the 2023 Hamas-Israel War'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this