Dr. Stratton is to be commended for his and the Prehospital and Disaster Medicine journal’s brave step towards accepting well-structured field reports from major incidents.Reference Fattah, Rehn and Wisborg 1 We all know that reports from recent incidents are an intriguing source for dissemination of knowledge and experience, although circumstances beyond the control of potential authors may forbid strict adherence to rigid author guidelines. The incident report is a brief report conveying first-hand knowledge from recent major incidents, with the advantage of being close to the actual occurrence, but with the drawbacks listed in Dr. Stratton’s editorial of subjectivity and a possible lack of complete overview.
There is definitely a need for better-structured case reports and a systematic collection of experiences gained through recent incidents. A recent systematic review of existing literature concerning templates for reporting prehospital medical management of major incidents revealed ten different templates, although none actually had been tested for feasibility in real incidents.Reference Stratton 2
In the absence of a feasibility-tested template especially focused on prehospital response, The Major Incident Reporting Collaborators developed a template for reporting of the medical prehospital response to major incidents.Reference Fattah, Rehn, Reierth and Wisborg 3 The template is accompanied by an open access webpageReference Fattah, Rehn, Lockey, Thompson, Lossius and Wisborg 4 for online reporting and free access to published reports.
The web site for structured reports from prehospital medical management of major incidents encourages simultaneous publication of case reports. The format of the web site reports will transfer easily to the Prehospital and Disaster Medicine guideline for case reports. The benefit of the web site is that it will be searchable and easy to extract reports on specific incidents, while the Prehospital and Disaster Medicine case reports will provide continuous updates to readers on recent incidents and thus stimulate transfer of experience. By this, the two solutions will supplement each other.