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Red MiST: Disaster Management
Natural disasters including tsunamis, mud-slides, hurricanes and earthquakes have seen a increase in number in recent years, leaving areas devastated with many casualities. Other disasters may be seen, as ‘man-made’ but need a similar emergency response. As natural disasters strike unexpectedly across the world, MiST units are prepared with aid and medical expertise to respond at short notice. These units are specialists in LIMB RECONSTRUCTION SURGERY, particularly vital in emergency and disaster situations. All the surgeons involved with MiST are experts in dealing with open fractures and limb and bone loss after injury using the Ilizarov technique (link Ilizarov surgery).
A ‘Limb Reconstruction Team’ (LRT) consists of all the personnel needed to run a trauma theatre independently. Each team leader and his team have been briefed on disaster management protocols and all have received training in emergency medical treatments and ATLS training. The medical expertise consists of Orthopaedic surgeons specialising in the Ilizarov technique, Plastic Surgeons and Anaesthetists specialising in pain management.
Following a catastrophe, an initial assessment team is deployed, with MiST Units on stand-by in their respective countries. After establishing a ‘surgical base’ in the disaster area, teams are sent out on a 2-weekly rotation to work at this base. The rotation of Units will enable the continuity of patient care which is essential in these initial stages and provide a cycle of fresh team members in order to avoid ‘burn-out’ of field staff.
LRT's can be deployed at a later stage in a disaster, to provide surgical expertise in the management of bone infections, non union and malunion of bones, commonly seen after mass casualties. Our surgical expertise can help save limbs and avoid amputations.
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