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Anesthesiol Clin. 2007 Mar;25(1):179-88, xi.

Multiple casualty incidents: the prehospital role of the anesthesiologist in Europe.

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Department of Anesthesiology and SAMU de Paris, Hôpital Necker - Enfants Malades, 149 rue de Sèvres, 75743 Paris CEDEX 15, France.


The recent increase in incidents involving mass casualties has emphasized the need for a planned and coordinated prehospital emergency medical response, with medical teams on-site to provide advanced trauma life support. The special skills of the anesthesiologist make his/her contribution to prehospital emergency care particularly valuable. The United Kingdom's emergency medical services system is operated paramedically like that in the United States, and is based on rapid evacuation of casualties to hospital emergency medical facilities. In contrast, the French approach is based on the use of its emergency care system SAMU, where both structured dispatching and on-site medical care is provided by physicians, including anesthesiologists. In this article, the lessons learned from multiple casualty incidents in Europe during the past 2 decades are considered from the standpoint of the anesthesiologist.

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