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Title: Surgical aspects of Operation Bali Assist: initial wound surgery on the tarmac and in flight.
Authors: Read DJ
Ashford B
Citation: ANZ journal of surgery 2004-11; 74(11): 986-91
Abstract: The explosion of three bombs on 12 October 2002 in Kuta, Bali resulted in mass casualties akin to those seen in war. The aim of the present report is to describe the sequence of events of Operation Bali Assist including triage, resuscitation and initial wound surgery in Bali at Sanglah Hospital in the aeromedical staging facility (ASF), Denpasar airport and the evacuation to Darwin. A descriptive report is provided of the event and includes; resuscitation, anaesthesia, initial burns surgery management including escharotomy and fasciotomy, head injury management and importance of supplies and medical records with a description of the evacuation to Darwin. Operation Bali Assist involved five C130 Hercules aircraft and aeromedical evacuation medical and nursing teams managing 66 casualties in the Denpasar area and their evacuation to Royal Darwin Hospital with ketamine the most useful anaesthetic agent and cling film the most useful burns dressing. Twelve procedures were performed at the ASF including seven escharotomies, three fasciotomies and two closed reductions. One escharotomy was performed in flight. The important lessons learnt from the exercise is the inclusion of a surgeon in the aeromedical evacuation team, the importance of debridement and delayed primary closure, the usefulness of cling film as a burns dressing and the importance of continuous assessment. Future disaster planning exercises need to consider a patient age mix that might be expected in a shopping mall, rather than the young adult encountered in Bali, a more familiar age mix for Australian Defence Force medical staff.
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Journal title: ANZ journal of surgery
Publication Date: 2004-11
ISSN: 1445-1433
Type: Journal Article
DOI: 10.1111/j.1445-1433.2004.03246.x
Appears in Collections:(a) NT Health Research Collection

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