The Haddon Matrix offers a classic epidemiological model for studying injury prevention. This methodology places the public health concepts of agent, host, and environment within the three sequential phases of an injury-producing incident-pre-event, event, and postevent. This study uses this methodology to illustrate how it could be applied in systematically preparing for a mass casualty disaster such as an unconventional sarin attack in a major urban setting. Nineteen city, state, federal, and military agencies responded to the Haddon Matrix chemical terrorism preparedness exercise and offered feedback in the data review session. Four injury prevention strategies (education, engineering, enforcement, and economics) were applied to the individual factors and event phases of the Haddon Matrix. The majority of factors identified in all phases were modifiable, primarily through educational interventions focused on individual healthcare providers and first responders. The Haddon Matrix provides a viable means of studying an unconventional problem, allowing for the identification of modifiable factors to decrease the type and severity of injuries following a mass casualty disaster such as a sarin release. This strategy could be successfully incorporated into disaster planning for other weapons attacks that could potentially cause mass casualties.
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