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To describe the types of surgical procedures performed by emergency medical teams (EMTs) with general surgical capability in the aftermath of sudden-onset disasters (SODs) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
A search of electronic databases (PubMed, MEDLINE, and EMBASE) was carried out to identify articles published between 1990 and 2018 that describe the type of surgical procedures performed by EMTs in the impact and post-impact phases a SOD. Further relevant articles were obtained by hand-searching reference lists.
16 articles met the inclusion criteria. Articles reporting on EMTs from a number of different countries and responding to a variety of disasters were included. There was a high prevalence of procedures for extremity soft tissue injuries (46.8%) and fractures (28.3%). However, a significant number of genitourinary/obstetric procedures were also reported.
Knowledge of the types of surgical procedures most frequently performed by EMTs may help further determine the necessary prerequisite surgical skills required for the recruitment of surgeons for EMTs. Experience in basic plastic, orthopedic, urological, and obstetric surgery would seem desirable for surgeons and surgical teams wishing to participate in an EMT.
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