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Disaster surge planning in Australia: measuring the immeasurable

Andrew G Robertson and David M Cooper
Med J Aust 2007; 186 (8): 388-389.
Published online: 16 April 2007

A call for better data and focused research

Surge capacity has been defined as the “health care system’s ability to manage a sudden or rapidly progressive influx of patients within the currently available resources at a given point in time”.1 This term entered the disaster medicine lexicon after “9/11” 2001, and has become a key feature of health disaster planning since the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreaks, the rising threat of pandemic influenza, and the Madrid and London bombings in 2004 and 2005.

  • Andrew G Robertson1
  • David M Cooper2

  • 1 Health Protection Group, Department of Health, Perth, WA.
  • 2 Menzies School of Health Research, Charles Darwin University, and National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre, Royal Darwin Hospital, Darwin, NT.


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