Patient distribution in a mass casualty event of an airplane crash

Ingri L. E. Postma, Hanneke Weel, Martin J. Heetveld, Ineke van der Zande, Taco S. Bijlsma, Frank W. Bloemers, J. Carel Goslings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Difficulties have been reported in the patient distribution during Mass Casualty Incidents. In this study we analysed the regional patient distribution protocol (PDP) and the actual patient distribution after the 2009 Turkish Airlines crash near Amsterdam. Analysis of the patient distribution of 126 surviving casualties of the crash by collecting data on medical treatment capacity, number of patients received per hospital, triage classification, Injury Severity Score (ISS), secondary transfers, distance from the crash site, and the critical mortality rate. The PDP holds ambiguous definitions of medical treatment capacity and was not followed. There were 14 receiving hospitals (distance from crash: 5.8-53.5 km); four hospitals received 133-213% of their treatment capacity, and 5 hospitals received 1 patient. Three hospitals within 20 km of the crash did not receive any casualties. Level I trauma centres received 89% of the 'critical' casualties and 92% of the casualties with ISS ≥ 16. Only 3 casualties were secondarily transferred, and no casualties died in, or on the way to hospital (critical mortality rate=0%). Patient distribution worked out well after the crash as secondary transfers were low and critical mortality rate was zero. However, the regional PDP was not followed in this MCI and casualties were unevenly distributed among hospitals. The PDP is indistinctive, and should be updated in cooperation between Emergency Services, surrounding hospitals, and Schiphol International Airport as a high risk area
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1574-1578
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Cite this