Triage in mass casualty situations
The original publication is available at http://www.cmej.org.za/index.php/cmej
The incidence of major incidents and disasters has increased over the past decades. A recent Oxfam report highlights a four-fold increase in the occurrence of weather-related disasters in the last two decades. Moreover, increasing urbanisation seems to contribute to an increase in major incidents. The Division of Emergency Medicine in the Western Cape has been compiling a database of major incidents over the last 3 years. The average number of incidents is in excess of 100 per annum. The literature may vary on what is meant by the terms ‘major incident’ and ‘disaster’, but there is no doubt about the challenges that these pose to the delivery of healthcare.