Preparedness of German Paramedics and Emergency Physicians for a Mass Casualty Incident: A National Survey

  • Philipp Fischer
  • Karoush Kabir
  • Oliver Weber
  • Dieter C. Wirtz
  • Hermann Bail
  • Steffen Ruchholtz
  • Mickey Stein
  • Christof Burger
Focus on Disaster Medicine

DOI: 10.1007/s00068-008-8803-4

Cite this article as:
Fischer, P., Kabir, K., Weber, O. et al. Eur J Trauma Emerg Surg (2008) 34: 443. doi:10.1007/s00068-008-8803-4

Abstract

Objective:

Paramedics and physicians are important components of our emergency medical system. To date, no survey has been carried out assessing physicians and paramedics regarding their preparedness for a mass casualty incident (MCI) resulting from a terrorist attack in Germany. The aim of this study was to assess the current state of preparedness of emergency physicians and paramedics for an MCI.

Materials and Methods:

Using an online questionnaire, we interviewed 1,707 emergency physicians and paramedics in Germany. The replies were analyzed statistically with the one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) test and the Tukey-Kramer multiple comparisons test.

Results:

In all, 95% of the emergency physicians and paramedics knew their area of responsibility in the case of an MCI. However, 45% of them were unaware of injury patterns and treatment strategies in patients following nuclear, chemical or biological contamination. Of the interviewed emergency physicians and paramedics, 97% asked for further specific training for MCI/terrorism attacks.

Conclusions:

Emergency physicians and paramedics are still insufficiently prepared for nuclear, chemical, and biological as well as conventional terrorism attacks. The emergency training of emergency physicians and paramedics must be modified to accommodate the increased risk of catastrophes and terrorist attacks.

Key Words

ParamedicsPhysiciansMass casualty incidentPreparednessEmergency training

Copyright information

© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philipp Fischer
    • 1
    • 5
  • Karoush Kabir
    • 1
  • Oliver Weber
    • 1
  • Dieter C. Wirtz
    • 1
  • Hermann Bail
    • 2
  • Steffen Ruchholtz
    • 3
  • Mickey Stein
    • 4
  • Christof Burger
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Orthopedics and Trauma SurgeryUniversity Hospital BonnBonnGermany
  2. 2.Center of Musculoskeletal SurgeryCharité-University Medicine BerlinBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Department of Accident and Reconstructive SurgeryUniversity Hospital Giessen and MarburgMarburgGermany
  4. 4.Trauma Services, Department of SurgeryRabin Medical CenterPetach TikvaIsrael
  5. 5.Department of Orthopedics and Trauma SurgeryUniversity Hospital BonnBonnGermany