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Journal Article


Sellers D, Ranse J. Aust. Crit. Care 2020; ePub(ePub): ePub.


Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia; Department of Emergency Medicine, Gold Coast Health, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.


(Copyright © 2020, Confederation of Australian Critical Care Nurses, Publisher Elsevier Publishing)






OBJECTIVES: Mass casualty incidents occur worldwide and have the capacity to overwhelm local healthcare facilities. There has been much research into how these events are managed in the prehospital environment and in the emergency department. However, there is a paucity in research addressing the impact that mass casualty incidents have on adult intensive care units. This review seeks to identify what literature is available that addresses the impact that mass casualty incidents have on intensive care units. REVIEW METHOD USED: Integrative Review Data sources: Electronic databases MEDLINE, CINAHL, PubMed and Scopus. REVIEW METHODS: Electronic databases were searched using terms such as "Intensive Care Unit" OR "Intensive Care" OR "Critical Care" OR "ICU" AND "Mass Casualty Incidents" OR "MCI" OR "Mass Casualty Event" OR "Mass Casualty Management" OR "Disaster". Articles that were published in the preceding 10 years in English as case studies or addressing real world events were included. Editorials, theoretical papers and research involving paediatrics were excluded from the results.

RESULTS: Seven articles met the search criteria.

RESULTS identified four key areas in ICU that were impacted by mass casualty incidents. These areas include the impact on facilities, on resources, on staff and of training on the management of mass casualty incidents.

CONCLUSIONS: This review has demonstrated a paucity in research and reporting practices on the impact that mass casualty incidents have on intensive care units. The returned articles have identified four areas that were seen as influencing management of real-world mass casualty incidents. By increasing reporting and research into factors that impact mass casualty incident management in intensive care units, policy and training can be enhanced to ensure better preparedness for future incidents.

Copyright © 2020 Australian College of Critical Care Nurses Ltd. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Language: en


Critical care; Disaster; Intensive care; Intensive care unit; Mass casualty event; Mass casualty incidents; Mass casualty management


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