Medical surge

  (Redirected from Surge capacity)

A medical surge occurs when "patient volumes challenge or exceed a hospital's servicing capacity"—often but not always tied to high volume of patients in a hospital's emergency room.[1] Medical surges can occur after a mass casualty incident.[2] In a poll by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) in May 2018, 93% of doctors said their US emergency rooms were not fully prepared for medical surges. 6% said their emergency departments were fully prepared.[3]

Hospital preparationEdit

Some hospitals, such as San Francisco General Hospital, have medical surge exercises to train staff.[4]

Medical Surge CapacityEdit

In February 2019, the American Hospital Association released a report that medical surge capacity was one of four major challenges threatening rural hospitals' ability to provide care, along with the "opioid epidemic," violence in the community, and cyber threats.[5]

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, medical surge capacity is "the ability to evaluate increased volume of patients .The requirements of surge may extend beyond direct patient care to include such tasks as extensive laboratory studies or epidemiological investigations. This is related to patients volume and identifying numbers of hospital beds, personnel, supplies, and equipment should be identified and addressed."[6]

Medical Surge CapabilityEdit

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, medical surge capability required "special intervention to protect medical providers, other patients, and the integrity of the HCO. This is also the ability to manage patients requiring specialized medical care and evaluation." Notable examples include influxes of patients with SARS.[6]


  1. ^ Whitnall, Catherine (July 5, 2018). "Medical surge a daily challenge for Lindsay hospital". My Kawartha. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  2. ^ Vonderschmidt, K. (2017). "Planning for a medical surge incident: Is rehabilitation the missing link?". American Journal of Disaster Medicine. 12 (3): 157–165. doi:10.5055/ajdm.2017.0269. PMID 29270958.
  3. ^ Bravo, Christina (May 22, 2018). "93 Percent of Docs Say Emergency Rooms Are Not Prepared for Disaster: Study". NBC San Diego. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  4. ^ "San Francisco Fleet Week launches with joint disaster response exercise". KTVU. October 2, 2017. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  5. ^ Gooch, Kelly (February 4, 2019). "19 challenges to rural healthcare access". Beckers Hospital Review. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  6. ^ a b "What is Medical Surge?". U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Retrieved March 26, 2019.   This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.