Mass casualty events due to terror attacks have escalated throughout Israel since September 2000, with a high proportion of these events occurring in the Jerusalem area. Immediately after news of a large-scale terror attack is received, family/public information centers are set up in all local hospitals to meet the needs of members of the public who call or arrive at hospitals anxious to obtain information about relatives who may have been at the site of the attack. The most urgent task facing these centers is the quick and accurate identification of victims whose identity is in question. To date, some 3000 casualties have been treated at Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center (Hadassah), a level I trauma center. This number accounts for nearly half of Israel’s total number of casualties from terror attacks during this period. Extensive experience has led the hospital to develop a unique organizational model for its family/public information center; in this model, members of the nursing staff identify casualties. The experience and knowledge gained in dealing with terror events also can be applied to other types of mass casualty events, such as major road or work accidents.

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