Field Organization and Disaster Medical Assistance Teams
Department of Emergency Medicine, Gulhane Military Medical Academy, Ankara, Turkey
Keywords: Field organization; disaster; medical team; DMAT
Disasters cause an acute deterioration in all stages of life. An area affected by the disaster in which the normal activities of life are disrupted is described as a “Field” in disaster terminology. Although it is not easy to define the borders of this zone, the area where there is normally functioning society is accepted as the boundary. Disaster management is the responsibility of the local government. However, in many large disaster responses many non-governmental and international organizations play a role. A Disaster Medical Team is a trained, mobile, self-contained, self-sufficient, multidisciplinary medical team that can act in the acute phase of a sudden-onset disaster (48 to 72 hours after its occurrence) to provide medical treatment in the affected area. The medical team can include physicians, nurses, paramedics and EMTS, technicians, personnel to manage logistics, security and others. Various models of Disaster Medical Teams can be observed around the world. There is paucity of evidence based literature regarding DMTs. There is a need for epidemiological studies with rigorous designs and sampling. In this section of the special edition of the journal, field organizations in health management during disasters will be summarized, with emphasis on preparedness and response phases, and disaster medical teams will be discussed.