Volume 2020 Number 3
  • ISSN: 1999-7086
  • EISSN: 1999-7094


A major incident is defined as any incident or event which due to its size, nature, and/or complexity, is likely to cause serious disruption to services and would potentially overwhelm the Hamad Medical Corporation Ambulance Service (HMCAS) or one or more of HMC's hospitals as a result. Such an incident requires a coordinated response from multiple agencies including HMC (as well as corporate departments), other healthcare services and hospitals (Qatar Red Crescent), various police forces, and the Qatar Civil Defense (1).

Identified issues: HMCAS defines three primary goals of managing a major incident1

1. the greatest good for the greatest number

2. scarce resources

3. not relocate the disaster by transporting all victims to one hospital.

Some common challenges faced by pre-hospital care providers in major incident management are summarized in Table 1. If these challenges are not overcome, this will cause the possibility of increasing the numbers of victims, delaying their first aid, and impact on their rapid transportation at the most appropriate healthcare facility. Qatar, as the organizer of a major event such as the 2022 FIFA World Cup, expects approximately 1.3 million visitors3, which leads to the formation of mass gatherings in many areas such as stadiums, fan zones, hotels, malls, metro stations, and the airport. One of the duties of HMCAS is planning and preparing for any major incident and address the potential challenges which are listed in Table 1. Some of the proposed solutions and procedures to confront them are presented Table 2. Major incidents are generally overwhelming for any healthcare system. Regular staff training, good planning, and ensuring effective communication within the entire Service is necessary to ensure the provision of care to the greatest number of victims and transfer them to hospitals appropriate to their condition. HMCAS is already implementing the suggested solutions in preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.


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  1. Pullian, N. HMC Ambulance Service Major Incident Response Guide (Version 2.0). Doha, VIC: Hamad Medical Corporation Ambulance Service (HMCAS); 2016. Page (11, 18) .
  2. Institute of Medicine. Preparedness and Response to a Rural Mass Casualty Incident. Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2011. Available from: https://doi.org/10.17226/13070 .
  3. Khatri, SS. More than a million fans expected during 2022 World Cup in Qatar. DohaNews. 2017, May 19. Available from: https://dohanews.co/more-than-a-million-fans-expected-during-2022-world-cup-in-qatar/. (Accessed on 15/12/2019) .

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  • Article Type: Conference Abstract
Keyword(s): emergency preparednessmajor incident and mass gatherings
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