A fire disaster in a bar on New Year's Eve 2001 in Volendam, which led to 200 victims, resulted in active participation of regional hospitals, including the academic hospital of the Free University of Amsterdam. In the first hour, more than 100 members of personnel were mobilised in this hospital. Nine doctors and nurses worked as members of medical teams at the site of the disaster; the others triaged 16 patients in the emergency room and treated 13 patients in the intensive care unit. After 4.5 hours, the influx of victims stopped and accordingly the disaster plan was deactivated. During the subsequent days, debriefings were organised on request of the hospital staff and personnel involved. These concluded that specific adjustments to hospital procedures were needed, such as a total admission stop for a few days, to prevent mental burn-out of personnel and to maintain the standard quality of care. Hospital disaster plans do not usually have specific guidelines for the emotional preparation of personnel during and immediately after a disaster, nor do they include specific guidelines for the evaluation of its emotional impact in terms of the quality of care delivered. These elements should be incorporated into every disaster plan.
|Translated title of the contribution||Debriefing health care professionals after the fire disaster in Volendam, the Netherlands|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Dec 2001|