UBC Nursing Student Journal (UBC-NSJ), 2012

Mass casualty incidents over three decades Maki, Kate 2012

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Mass Casualty Incidents Over Three Decades Kate Maki,ª Melissa Erasmus,ª Alana Miles,ª & Chris Dearingª ªUBC School of Nursing Program 2012, Vancouver, BC Vancouver Coastal Health: Sheila Turris, Adam Lund, Kerrie Lewis UBC faculty partner: Colleen Varcoe Abstract Background: Annually, millions of people around the world attend events such as music festivals, rock concerts, marathons, and parades. These events can be referred to as “mass gatherings” as they have the potential to draw thousands of people into attendance or participation. Large numbers of people – gathered together in small geographical spaces, on unfamiliar terrain, often in the presence of drugs and alcohol – are at a higher risk of injury and illness than the surrounding population. Despite the best intentions of event planners and medical teams, unexpected incidents do occur and can result in injury and death for event attendees and participants. These are termed “mass casualty incidents (MCI).” Currently, it is difficult to plan a medical response and to provide medical support for mass gathering events in relation to MCIs because systematic reviews of existing literature have occurred infrequently. Purpose: The purpose of this research is to gain an understanding of the types of MCIs occurring at mass gathering events and to identify whether or not trends exist between the type of MCI and the type of mass gathering. Methodology: We executed a systematic review of mainstream media, grey literature, and the mass gathering medicine literature to identify MCIs at mass gathering events from 1980 to 2011 on an international scale. Results: One hundred and forty-six MCIs were documented and reviewed for frequency at event type, mechanism(s) of casualty, and precipitating factors. Of the events reviewed, MCIs were most common during sporting events (36.3%), followed by, religious events (15.0%), music concerts/festivals (13.0%), cultural festivals and events (9.6%), nightclubs/dance (9.6%) miscellaneous (6.2%); air shows (5.5%); and non-sporting stadium events (4.8%). Conclusion: On an international scale, MCIs have occurred most frequently at sporting events between the years 1980 to 2011. The most common cause of injury at these events has been the result of stampedes followed by riots and violence. Although the precipitating factors for MCIs were reviewed, the relationship is complex and requires further research to better inform event planners and medical teams in their management of mass gathering events. Addressing this gap in current health-care literature may assist medical teams, on site and locally, to better prepare for mass gatherings and in planning a response to mass casualty incidents. UBC Nursing Student Journal, Vol.1, Issue 1. 15 UBC Nursing Student Journal, Vol.1, Issue 1. 16


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