Practicing For Disaster

Medical teams simulate response in a state-of-the-art mobile field hospital

The Trauma Surgical Deployment Unit (TSDU) is a mobile hospital that can deploy in the event of a disaster, providing immediate trauma care. The unit may consist of a two-person surgical trauma team to a full-scale surgical field hospital, depending on the size of the response. The TSDU is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance and staffed by International Medical Corps’ emergency response personnel who specialize in health, logistics, security and water, sanitation and hygiene, among others.

International Medical Corps conducts and participates in trainings and simulation exercises to ensure TSDU readiness. The latest simulation exercise took place in November of 2015 in Arkansas at the Direct Action Resource Center. Health workers from Massachusetts General Hospital – Center for Global Health, Office of Global Disaster Response, Stanford Emergency Program for Emergency Response and Scripps Health participated in the training, practicing for the worst case scenarios. See pictures below.

The TSDU modules are erected in Arkansas as part of a simulated earthquake emergency drill. During the drill, International Medical Corps trains teams from Harvard, Scripps and Stanford on use of the facility and treatment of patients inside.


The area where the TSDU was to be built was completely flooded in a torrential rainstorm the day before the simulation.
The flooded TSDU field before the drill began.
International Medical Corps logistical and water and sanitation staff irrigated and drained the field before erecting the TSDU the next day.
Doctors and nurses perform surgery as part of a disaster simulation.
During a simulated drill, a “patient” is carried into surgery.

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