The Centre for Global Burn Injury Policy & Research (CGBIPR) and Interburns have been heavily involved in the establishment and running of a World Health Organisation (WHO) Technical Working Group on burns (TWGB). The work of this Working Group was partly prompted by the NIHR grant that the CGBIPR and Interburns received in 2017. Working closely with WHO, the European Burn Society and other expert partners, the group worked to set clear standards for emergency care for mass burn incidents. These have now been published in the journal Burns.
Burn mass casualty events occur in all countries, but low-and-middle-income countries are a lot more susceptible to these disasters, and effects are often much more serious. Oil tanker explosions, and fires in crowded factories or apartment buildings are just some examples that occur still too often. Most low-and-middle-income countries do not have a plan ready on how to respond in these disaster situations.
The work done in the TWGB fits into a broader programme of the WHO. The WHO Emergency Medical Team initiative has been working on a more professional and standardised approach to care in emergency situations for the last seven years. As burns require a specialist approach, the expert Working Group was brought together to set recommendations for burn mass casualty events. 22 recommendations were made, which range from the first response at the scene of the disaster, to hospitals and burn centres receiving patients, and rehabilitation back into the community.
A practical training for EU burn emergency teams has already been developed and delivered with ECHO funding (read more here), and the CGBIPR is currently working with the WHO and experts to also develop a more generic, global training programme.