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High Alt Med Biol. 2018 Jun;19(2):131-140. doi: 10.1089/ham.2017.0143. Epub 2018 Feb 15.

Management of Multi-Casualty Incidents in Mountain Rescue: Evidence-Based Guidelines of the International Commission for Mountain Emergency Medicine (ICAR MEDCOM).

Author information

1
1 Department of Emergency Medicine, University Hospital of Grenoble-Alps , Grenoble, France .
2
2 The French Mountain Rescue Association (ANMSM) , Grenoble, France .
3
3 Department of Emergency Medicine, St. Jean de Maurienne Hospital , St. Jean de Maurienne, France.
4
4 ICAR MedCom , Roethis, Austria .
5
5 Department of Emergency Medicine, Stanford University Medical Center , Stanford, California.
6
6 Alaska Mountain Rescue Group , Anchorage, Alaska.
7
7 Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Klinikum Kempten, Germany .
8
8 Department of Emergency Medicine, Canmore, Canada .
9
9 Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Calgary , Calgary, Canada .
10
10 Department of Emergency Medicine, St John's Medical Center , Jackson, Wyoming.
11
11 Search and Rescue Medical Director, Grand Teton National Park , Jackson, Wyoming.
12
12 Quebec Secours SAR, Resident Physician Elective in Wilderness Medicine, McGill University , Montreal, Canada .
13
13 Institute of Mountain Emergency Medicine , EURAC Research, Bolzano, Italy .
14
14 Emergency Medicine Physician, Medical Officer Mountain Rescue England and Wales , Whitehaven, England.
15
15 Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Hospitallers Brothers Hospital, Paracelsus Medical University , Salzburg, Austria .

Abstract

Blancher, Marc, François Albasini, Fidel Elsensohn, Ken Zafren, Natalie Hölzl, Kyle McLaughlin, Albert R. Wheeler III, Steven Roy, Hermann Brugger, Mike Greene, and Peter Paal. Management of multi-casualty incidents in mountain rescue: Evidence-based guidelines of the International Commission for Mountain Emergency Medicine (ICAR MEDCOM). High Alt Med Biol. 19:131-140, 2018.

INTRODUCTION:

Multi-Casualty Incidents (MCI) occur in mountain areas. Little is known about the incidence and character of such events, and the kind of rescue response. Therefore, the International Commission for Mountain Emergency Medicine (ICAR MEDCOM) set out to provide recommendations for the management of MCI in mountain areas.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Details of MCI occurring in mountain areas related to mountaineering activities and involving organized mountain rescue were collected. A literature search using (1) PubMed, (2) national mountain rescue registries, and (3) lay press articles on the internet was performed. The results were analyzed with respect to specific aspects of mountain rescue.

RESULTS:

We identified 198 MCIs that have occurred in mountain areas since 1956: 137 avalanches, 38 ski lift accidents, and 23 other events, including lightning injuries, landslides, volcanic eruptions, lost groups of people, and water-related accidents.

DISCUSSION:

General knowledge on MCI management is required. Due to specific aspects of triage and management, the approach to MCIs may differ between those in mountain areas and those in urban settings.

CONCLUSIONS:

Mountain rescue teams should be prepared to manage MCIs. Knowledge should be reviewed and training performed regularly. Cooperation between terrestrial rescue services, avalanche safety authorities, and helicopter crews is critical to successful management of MCIs in mountain areas.

KEYWORDS:

avalanche; emergency medicine; lightning; mountain rescue; multi-casualty incidents; wilderness medicine

PMID:
29446647
PMCID:
PMC6014052
DOI:
10.1089/ham.2017.0143
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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