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J Trauma. 2006 Jun;60(6):1267-74.

An update on the surgeons scope and depth of practice to all hazards emergency response.

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  • 1Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma: Disaster and Medical Special Operations Committee, DMSOC/EAST, Maine Medical Center, Department of Surgery, Portland, ME 04102-3113, USA.


This article outlines the position of The Eastern Association of the Surgery of Trauma (EAST) in defining the role of surgeons, and specifically trauma/critical care surgeons, in the development of public health initiatives that are designed to react to and deal effectively with acts of terrorism. All aspects of the surgeon's role in response to mass casualty incidents are considered, from prehospital response teams to the postevent debriefing. The role of the surgeon in response to mass casualty incidents (MCIs) is substantial in response to threats and injury from natural, unintentional, and intentional disasters. The surgeon must take an active role in pre-event community preparation in training, planning, and executing the response to MCI. The marriage of initiatives among Departments of Public Health, the Department of Homeland Security, and existing trauma systems will provide a template for successful responses to terrorist acts.

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