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, 105 (11), 968-73

[Analysis of the Incidence and Causes of Mass Casualty Events in a Southern Germany Medical Rescue Area]

[Article in German]
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[Analysis of the Incidence and Causes of Mass Casualty Events in a Southern Germany Medical Rescue Area]

[Article in German]
A Beck et al. Unfallchirurg.

Abstract

The growing number of mass casualty events during the early 1990s led, in January 1996, to the foundation of an honorary group of specially trained emergency physicians for dealing primarily with the management of large-scale emergency events and mass casualties. The incidence and quantity of these casualties was analysed in order to be better prepared for such events in the future.

Methods: All calls prospectively registered by the Augsburg Rescue Co-ordination Centre (ARCC) in the 5 years from July 1997 to June 2002 were analysed, distinguishing between the different types of damage, number of patients involved, and time of occurrence (time of day/season). The area served by the ARCC includes the city of Augsburg with its surrounding counties. An estimated 850,000 inhabitants live in this area of 4,100 square kilometers (1,600 square miles). Since 1998, more than 145,000 calls a year have been dealt with of which 28,000 were covered by emergency physicians. In the 5 year period discussed here, 75 large-scale-calls were registered, giving an average incidence of 1.25 calls/month. Most of the calls were fire alarms, followed by car accidents. In total, we were able to serve more than 800 patients. The lowest number per event was two people during an emergency landing of a sport aircraft; the largest number was about 150 patients during a large open-air event in the city. While there was no difference in the time of day at which the event happened, most occurred in November and December. Taking these results into account, the authors, supported by the members of the emergency physician team of the German Trauma Society, developed an algorithm describing the optimal procedure for mass casualty events. This is presented here. In mass casualty or large-scale emergency events, an experienced emergency physician is necessary to co-ordinate the rescue brigades on site.

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