On the morning of June 9, 2009, an explosion occurred at a manufacturing plant in Garner, North Carolina. By the end of the day, 68 injured patients had been evaluated at the 3 Level I trauma centers and 3 community hospitals in the Raleigh/Durham metro area (3 people who were buried in the structural collapse died at the scene). Approximately 300 employees were present at the time of the explosion, when natural gas being vented during the repair of a hot water heater ignited. The concussion from the explosion led to structural failure in multiple locations and breached additional natural gas, electrical, and ammonia lines that ran overhead in the 1-story concrete industrial plant. Intent is the major difference between this type of accident and a terrorist using an incendiary device to terrorize a targeted population. But while this disaster lacked intent, the response, rescue, and outcomes were improved as a result of bioterrorism preparedness. This article discusses how bioterrorism hospital preparedness planning, with an all-hazards approach, became the basis for coordinated burn surge disaster preparedness. This real-world disaster challenged a variety of systems, hospitals, and healthcare providers to work efficiently and effectively to manage multiple survivors. Burn-injured patients served as a focus for this work. We describe the response, rescue, and resuscitation provided by first responders and first receivers as well as efforts made to develop burn care capabilities and surge capacity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law