Field report from study on mass casualty incidents, Kurdistan.

As part of the first elective period of medical school at Univeristy of Tromsø, a field study was done in the northern provinces of Iraq and Kurdistan. In cooperation with Tromsø Mine Victim Research Center, Trauma Care Foundation Iraq and director Dr. Mudhafar K. Murad, the tremendous challenges with prehospital emergency response to a mass casualty incidents were studied.

Study of mass casualties

The city of Kirkuk in the northern part of Iraq has in the recent years experienced numerous mass casualty incidents. The prehospital emergency personnel has sadly gained valuable experience. Both ambulance services and hospital personnel meets these challenges on a daily basis. A retrospective, descriptive study was conducted in the purpose of describing and assessing the prehospital emergency response to a specific event in may 2011.

Also while beeing in Kurdistan, Trauma Care Foundation Iraq conducted a trauma training course for junior doctors. In the beginning of april a one week course was conducted focusing on initial assessment and trauma management.

Hands on training

With a “hands on approach” the doctors trained on live animals getting the possibility putting theory into practice. Seeing the tremendous change in knowledge and skills, convinces that this way of training is highly valuable for doctors and health care providers.

To get a thourough insight into the kurdish and iraqi prehospital trauma system TCF Iraq was extremely helpful. Seeing the organisation develop procedures and equipment in emergency rooms, giving first aid courses to preschool teachers and educating emergency room staffs and doctors, is impressive. Also through their network several hours were spend with ambulance personnel and emergency room doctors. To take part in patient treatment and the daily rutines was a great and valuable experience.

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