UW Radiology

The 2015 Amtrak Philadelphia Train Derailment: After-Action Review of the Emergency Radiology Response at Temple University Health System

J Am Coll Radiol. 2018 Nov 29. pii: S1546-1440(18)31294-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jacr.2018.10.005. [Epub ahead of print]

Authors: Bhattacharya AK1, Fenerty S2, Awan OA3, Ling S3, Jonnalagadda P3, Cohen G3, Hershey B3, Ali S3.



The aim of this article is to assess a large tertiary care medical center’s emergency radiology response after the 2015 Amtrak Philadelphia train derailment.


A total of 55 patients with 308 total CTs and radiographs ordered within 12 hours of arrival to Temple University Health System (combining Temple University Hospital and Episcopal Hospital) emergency departments on May 12 to 13, 2015, were included in this study. A retrospective PACS and electronic medical record chart review of emergency department imaging turnaround times (TAT) during this event was completed and compared with emergency department radiology operations for the same 12-hour period throughout the preceding year. Wilcoxon’s rank-sum test analysis was performed.


A total of 308 CTs and radiographs were performed, and 91 radiologically evident injuries were observed in a total of 30 patients, with fractures (n = 51) as the most common type of injury. There were no significant differences in time from patient arrival to beginning of radiological examination (26 min; interquartile range [IQR], 11-58 min) compared with annual median (28 min; IQR, 10-131 min; P = .232). Examination completion TATs were significantly increased (35 min; IQR, 17-112 min) compared with annual median (10 min; IQR, 5-15 min; P < .001), and time required from viewing of the examination by the radiologist to the examination being marked as read was significantly decreased (17 min; IQR, 6-45 min) compared with annual median (248 min; IQR, 126-441 min; P < .001).


The analysis highlights areas of efficiency in our response but also indicates areas for process improvement in future potential mass casualty events.

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