Medical Disaster Response to Hurricane Katrina
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On August 29th, 2005 Hurricane Katrina made Landfall in New Orleans. As part of the response, the US Department of Homeland Security pre-deployed Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMATs) from throughout the United States to provide emergency medical care to the population of the area. DMAT Task Force CA-6 was part of that response. They initially provided triage and medical support at the Superdome where they were faced with over 3,000 patients. After the evacuation of the Superdome, they then were part of the establishment of the temporary medical facilities at the New Orleans Airport where over 11,000 patients were treated and evacuated. Several weeks later the DMAT was again rotated into New Orleans to provide ongoing support as the area’s medical infrastructure was being restored. This presentation will review how the DMAT system is structured, how they are deployed, and the experiences of this unit in one of the most severe disasters in US history.