Disaster Medicine Demands Its Own Concepts
There has been a sharp increase in natural disasters and major catastrophes all over the world which has added to the importance of disaster and emergency medicine. Such relief and rescue services call for a completely different approach from that adopted in the conventional treatment of casualties. Especially in the event of natural catastrophes (storms, floods, earthquakes, etc.), major disasters (explosions, chemical and nuclear accidents, etc.), international humanitarian aid programs (famines, epidemics, etc.) and military “peace-keeping operations” the method of transporting the patient to the nearest hospital is often unfeasible. The rescue scenarios are always unexpected and highly complex in the initial stages. The medical infrastructure – if one exists at all – is overstretched or too far away. It is essential for relief operations to be based around a mobile emergency unit located “at the scene of the action” to save lives acutely and minimize fallout from injuries.