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April 17, 2013

Hospital Evacuation Decisions in Emergency Situations—Reply

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Jody W. Zylke, MD, Senior Editor.

Author Affiliations: Inova Health System, Falls Church, Virginia (Dr Hanfling); Montefiore Einstein Center for Bioethics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York (Dr Powell); and O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University, Washington, DC (Mr Gostin; gostin@law.georgetown.edu).

JAMA. 2013;309(15):1585-1586. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.2473

In Reply: We concur with Ms Hassol and colleagues that facility-specific planning for hospital evacuation, both pre- and postevent, must be encouraged as a fundamental tenet of emergency planning.1 However, as evidenced by the disjointed and asynchronous decisions taken by 3 health care facilities in close proximity of each other in the immediate approach to and aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, local and regional planning for sentinel events must be more consistent. Facility-specific planning is likely to lead to fragmented and diverse decision making.

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