The Science of Surge

Gabor D. Kelen, Melissa L. McCarthy

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

51 Scopus citations


While it remains unclear to what extent daily surge and extraordinary surge are related, it is evident that their philosophical underpinnings are divergent. However, at least some tools appropriate for study are applicable to both, indicating conceptual similarities. The phenomena of daily surge and the components of daily surge capacity are well known and studied. The phenomenon of extraordinary surge, by comparison, is complex. The components of surge capacity for catastrophic events are only broadly defined, and many subcomponents remain undefined. Further, the relative impact of the various components under different event scenarios remains largely unknown. The interactions of these components are not stable and are dependent on the event type and duration. Still, a new concept, surge response capability, can be expressed as a function of surge capacity and surge characteristics. The main challenge for developing the science of surge is to further delineate the components of surge capacity and surge and to develop measurable operational definitions that would be subject to testing and evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1089-1094
Number of pages6
JournalAcademic Emergency Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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