The majority of disasters address the occurrence of mass casualty events that happen outside of the hospital, where the hospital will be receiving large numbers of injured people in a short period of time.  But what happens when the hospital, itself, is severely damaged during a disaster? 

Unfortunately plans have not been fully developed in the event that the hospital, itself, is severely damaged, either from natural disasters like earthquakes, or manmade events such as massive electrical failures or terrorist attacks. Of particular concern is the limited awareness of the obstetric units’ specialized needs in the world of disaster planning.

In response to this gap in disaster-preparedness, a multidisciplinary committee was formed at Stanford Health Care consisting of obstetricians, obstetrical anesthesiologist, labor and delivery, office of emergency management personnel  and postpartum nurses.

The Committee created and tested in a simulated setting, a compilation of tools that can be employed in the event of a hospital disaster. These tools are now available to the general obstetric community via the following website:

The purpose of the Stanford OB Disaster Planning Toolkit website is to provide a resource for the entire obstetrical community.  The Toolkit addresses evacuation of L&D and antepartum units, and includes shelter-in-place plans for patients who are actively in labor.

Future plans are to complete a similar toolkit for evacuation of postpartum patients and surge protocols. (Surge periods refer to times when demand for beds and care exceed capacity.)
Additionally, the goal of the website is to receive feedback from facilities that use any parts of the Toolkit so that the tools can be refined and improved.

What can YOU do?

1.     Prioritize disaster planning for OB units in your hospital
2.     Create documents using the Stanford forms as a guide and provide feedback for improvement
3.     Begin training of your staff
4.     Promote regional collaborative networks for OB care in your area
5.     Join a national collaborative for disaster planning for OB units with quarterly webinars with the goal to:

We can neither predict or prevent disasters but preparing for them now is the best way to ensure the safety of our mothers and babies.


Upcoming Events

42nd Annual Perinatal Potpourri: Advances in Care

Thursday and Friday, March 23-24, 2023

This webinar-based CME/continuing education conference will provide the latest advances in maternal, fetal, and neonatal medicine. Nationally recognized faculty will present a variety of topics through lectures, panel presentations, and case-based discussions. Some topics include: