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October 17, 1980

Disasters: Hospital Planning—A Manual for Doctors, Nurses and Administrators

Author Affiliations

San Juan Regional Medical Center Farmington, NM


by P. E. A. Savage, 142 pp, with illus, paper, $11.75, New York, Pergamon Press, 1979.

JAMA. 1980;244(16):1845. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310160057032

This reviewer approached Disasters: Hospital Planning with more than an average amount of optimism, as the task of revising the prehospital portion of his own community disaster plan lay ahead. The book is divided into two parts. The first describes the general considerations and content of disaster planning and has some good ideas; the second represents the working disaster manual of an obviously large, well-staffed hospital and appears to be overly detailed and confusing, especially when one considers the general disorder that is characteristic of any unforeseen emergency worthy of being dubbed "disaster."

The author appears to have more than a reading knowledge of his subject. However, the entire planning process as projected seems useful only to large medical centers in urban areas. The text details a plan for such a center while failing to address the limitations of the more commonplace community hospital. The author might have made a