Surgical resource utilization in urban terrorist bombing: A computer simulation

Asher Hirshberg*, Michael Stein, Raphael Walden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background.' The objective of this study was to analyze the utilization of surgical staff and facilities during an urban terrorist bombing incident. Methods: A discrete-event computer model of the emergency room and related hospital facilities was constructed and implemented, based on cumulated data from 12 urban terrorist bombing incidents in Israel. Results: The simulation predicts that the admitting capacity of the hospital depends primarily on the number of available surgeons and defines an optimal staff profile for surgeons, residents, and trauma nurses. The major bottlenecks in the flow of critical casualties are the shock rooms and the computed tomographic scanner but not the operating rooms. The simulation also defines the number of reinforcement staff needed to treat noncritical casualties and shows that radiology is the major obstacle to the flow of these patients. Conclusion: Computer simulation is an important new tool for the optimization of surgical service elements for a multiple-casualty situation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-550
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Computer simulation
  • Multiple-casualty situation
  • Urban bombing


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