1. Murcko, Amy C. BC, MSN, CNAA, APRN

Article Content

Jane's Mass Casualty Handbook: Hospital Emergency Preparedness and Response


Reviewed by Amy C. Murcko, BC, MSN, CNAA, APRN


By Joseph A. Barbera and Anthony G. Macintyre. Surrey, UK: Jane's Information Group, 2003. $34. ISBN 07106-2592-8. 344 pages.


While emergency preparedness has always been important to organized health services, the increased focus in recent years on mass casualities secondary to terrorist activity has brought it to the forefront of providers' minds. Jane's Mass Casualty Handbook: Hospital Emergency Preparedness and Response will guide clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) and other health system leaders in defining their organization's role and strategy for managing such critical situations.


This timely manual presents a systematic methodology for emergency preparedness, management, and response. Intended to serve as a reference manual for organizations to develop individualized programs, this book begins with an outline of the systems approach to emergency management, with background information on the hospital role as part of larger federally coordinated operations. Next, guidelines for creating a hospital-specific Emergency Management Program and Emergency Operations Plan are provided. Event-specific information is provided in the following section, including precise detail on managing explosive, chemical, radiation, and biological casualities.


The final chapter focused on training, exercises, and organizational learning will be of special interest to the CNS, who may well be responsible for preparing staff for effective and efficient implementation of the emergency response plan. The practicing CNS will find the guidelines for general and focused orientation, skills training, and exercise planning using mock scenarios helpful in formulating the preparedness program. Guidelines for evaluating and critiquing learning exercises will assist the CNS in identifying opportunities for performance improvement.


The pocket-sized book is comprehensive in scope and logically organized. An outline format is applied throughout. Tables, photographs, and shaded boxes are used to enhance learning. Quick reference tabs, a table of contents, and an index allow the user to rapidly access the section of interest. Definitions of terms are incorporated throughout the material. While this handbook is most appropriate for use by practicing healthcare providers rather than the student population, it will be a welcome tool for all healthcare providers interested in mass casualty incidents.