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Medical Responses to Terrorist Incidents

  • John P. Sullivan


Terrorism can be considered a form of low-intensity conflict. It results from extreme reactions to sociopolitical conditions. These reactions, through a variety of intellectual and emotional processes, are manifest as overt acts of violence. Terrorism includes acts by individuals or organizations which seek to change political or social conditions, make political or ideological statements, or obtain funds for sustaining ongoing terrorist or revolutionary campaigns. Terrorist incidents are increasingly prevalent. Often, they involve loss of lives and mass casualties and have special medical dimensions. As such, the role of EMS in terrorist incidents needs to be defined clearly.



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1. Scott, R: War surgery. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine. 1986;1–4:162.
2. Sidenberg, B: Medical consequences of terrorism, conflict, and civil unrest. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine. 1986;1–4:63.

Medical Responses to Terrorist Incidents

  • John P. Sullivan


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