caring for trauma patients thesis


Boston Bombings: Response to Disaster MAUREEN HEMINGWAY, MHA, RN, CNOR; JOANNE FERGUSON, MSN, RN


Disasters disrupt everyone’s lives, and they can disrupt the flow and function of

an OR as well as affect personnel on a professional and personal level even

though perioperative departments and their personnel are used to caring for

trauma patients and coping with surprises. The Boston Marathon bombing was a

new experience for personnel at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. This

article discusses the incidents surrounding the bombing and how personnel at

this hospital met the challenge of caring for patients and the changes we made

after the experience to be better prepared in the event a response to a similar

incident is needed. AORN J 99 (February 2014) 277-288. � AORN, Inc, 2014.

Key words: perioperative disaster care, OR triage, terrorist bombings, Boston

Marathon, shelter in care, city lockdown.

M assachusetts General Hospital (MGH),

Boston, is a level I trauma teaching

hospital where patients receive care for

all surgical specialties. Personnel have the capacity

and ability to care for a large number of patients

with varying acuity levels. There are 907 beds and

61 functional ORs located on one campus. In 2005,

MGH received designation as a Magnet� hospital, and, in 2008 and 2012, the American Nurses Cre-

dentialing Center renewed this designation. The

hospital’s perioperative nursing team cares for

approximately 36,000 patients per year and pro-

vides perioperative care, on average, for 150 pa-

tients per day. The ORs are located on three levels

across five different buildings.

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