Medical treatment at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport after hurricane Katrina: The experience of disaster medical assistance teams WA-1 and OR-2

Christopher Sanford, Jonathan Jui, Helen C. Miller, Kathleen A. Jobe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the week following Hurricane Katrina, over 3000 patients were evacuated by air from a triage and medical treatment station at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. This represents the largest air evacuation in history. Over 24,000 additional evacuees were transported from the airport to shelters. Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMATs) from several US states were deployed to the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport to provide medical care to those evacuated from New Orleans. Despite warning from the US National Weather Service of catastrophic damage to New Orleans, adequate medical staffing was not attained at the airport triage station until 6 days after the hurricane struck. Organizational lapses, including inadequate medical and operational planning, understaffing of medical personnel, and failure to utilize Incident Command System, diminished the effectiveness of the Hurricane Katrina New Orleans Medical Operation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)230-235
Number of pages6
JournalTravel Medicine and Infectious Disease
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2007

Keywords

  • Complex humanitarian emergency
  • Disaster medicine
  • Flood
  • Hurricane
  • Katrina
  • NDMS (National Disaster Medical System)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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