Special Populations: Disaster Care Considerations in Chronically Ill, Pregnant, and Morbidly Obese Patients

Timothy M. Dempsey, Stephanie C. Lapinsky, Eric Melnychuk, Stephen E. Lapinsky, Mary Jane Reed, Alexander Niven

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Special populations, which include the morbidly obese and patients with chronic, complex medical conditions that require long-term health care services and infrastructure, are at increased risk for morbidity and mortality when these services are disrupted during a disaster. Past experiences have identified significant challenges in restoring necessary care services to these patients following major environmental events. This article describes the impact of disasters on special populations, provides a framework for future disaster preparation and planning, and identifies areas in need of further research. Gravid patients, who are often overlooked in disaster planning and preparation, are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)677-695
Number of pages19
JournalCritical Care Clinics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019



  • Critical care
  • Dialysis
  • Disasters critical illness
  • Morbid obesity disaster
  • Oxygen dependent
  • Pregnancy in disaster
  • Shelter medicine
  • Technology dependent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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