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February 6, 1954


JAMA. 1954;154(6):501-506. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.02940400039010

MEDICAL ORGANIZATION IN NATIONAL CATASTROPHE  Melvin A. Casberg, M.D., Washington, D. C.This report is concerned primarily with the standardization of surgical treatment of mass casualties in times of national catastrophe and certain organizational measures that are essential in effecting large-scale medical treatment. The responsibilities of our profession during times of disaster are grave, and the problems of organizing and directing the medical effort during such times are complex. To give some insight into the magnitude of this potential challenge to physicians, some of the surgical problems are reviewed.In speaking of mass casualties, one enters a field that is foreign to the experience of American medicine, for our nation has never been confronted with the medical problems incident to the civilian catastrophe of modern total war. Nothing in our history has prepared us for the destructiveness of modern weapons, and even American civilian physicians who served in World War

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