LESSONS FROM COCOANUT GROVE
On November 28, 1942, Boston experienced its deadliest man-made disaster and our nation’s deadliest nightclub fire.
In a building that had an occupancy of 600, 492 lives were lost and another 166 persons were injured. This tragedy brought about many reforms and advances in public health.
• Reforms in public health codes and safety standards mandated across the US
• Major changes in the treatment, rehabilitation and nursing care of burn victims
• Advances in psychiatric care for acute grief and crisis intervention
• Planning and management for disasters
The importance of the entire health care team was emphasized. Many of the fire’s victims survived because of the skilled nursing care initially administered and the ensuing care provided over the next several weeks and months. These nurses were recognized as true “unsung heroines” since they were also victims who suffered unthinkable emotional trauma by caring for the disaster victims.