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The term “golden hour” describes the first 60 minutes after patients sustain injury. In resource-available settings, rapid transport to trauma centers within this time period is standard-of-care. We compared transport times of injured civilians in modern conflict zones to assess the degree to which injured civilians are transported within the golden hour in these environments.
We evaluated PubMed, Ovid, and Web of Science databases for manuscripts describing transport time after trauma among civilian victims of trauma from January 1990 to November 2017.
The initial database search identified 2704 abstracts. Twenty-nine studies met inclusion and exclusion criteria. Conflicts in Yugoslavia/Bosnia/Herzegovina, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, Cambodia, Somalia, Georgia, Lebanon, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Turkey were represented, describing 47 273 patients. Only 7 (24%) manuscripts described transport times under 1 hour. Transport typically required several hours to days.
Anticipated transport times have important implications for field triage of injured persons in civilian conflict settings because existing overburdened civilian health care systems may become further overwhelmed if in-hospital health capacity is unable to keep pace with inflow of the severely wounded.
No discipline has been impacted more by war and armed conflict than health care has. Health systems and health care providers are often the first victims, suffering increasingly heinous acts that cripple the essential health delivery and public health infrastructure necessary for the protection of civilian and military victims of the state at war. This commentary argues that current instructional opportunities to prepare health care providers fall short in both content and preparation, especially in those operational skill sets necessary to manage multiple challenges, threats, and violations under international humanitarian law and to perform triage management in a resource-poor medical setting. Utilizing a historical framework, the commentary addresses the transformation of the education and training of humanitarian health professionals from the Cold War to today followed by recommendations for the future. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:383-396)
Since 1945, the reason for humanitarian crises and the way in which the world responds to them has dramatically changed every 10 to 15 years or less. Planning, response, and recovery for these tragic events have often been ad hoc, inconsistent, and insufficient, largely because of the complexity of global humanitarian demands and their corresponding response system capabilities. This historical perspective chronicles the transformation of war and armed conflicts from the Cold War to today, emphasizing the impact these events have had on humanitarian professionals and their struggle to adapt to increasing humanitarian, operational, and political challenges. An unprecedented independent United Nations–World Health Organization decision in the Battle for Mosul in Iraq to deploy to combat zones emergency medical teams unprepared in the skills of decades-tested war and armed conflict preparation and response afforded to health care providers and dictated by International Humanitarian Law and Geneva Convention protections has abruptly challenged future decision-making and deployments. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:109–115)
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