Management of Limb Injuries

During disasters and conflicts


In disasters, up to 90% of the surgical workload faced by national and international emergency medical teams involves limb injury. The need has never been greater for clear practical guidance for surgical teams to practice safe, effective limb injury care fit for the context of conflict or disaster, and not necessarily what they do in normal daily practice.

The WHO Emergency Medical Team (EMT) Initiative helps countries and NGOs to set up teams that will be able to maintain agreed standards of quality and self-sufficiency, resulting in better patient care. With more teams striving to reach these standards, clear guidance on best practice is needed, particularly for managing patients with limb injuries, which make up the majority of cases.

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Content by chapter

  • 1. Context

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  • 2. Ballistics
  • 3. Logistics, field support and training
  • 4. Anesthesia and perioperative care
  • 5. Damage control surgery and resuscitation
  • 6. Limb wounds
  • 7. Closed fractures
  • 8. Open fractures
  • 9. Compartment syndrome and crush syndrome
  • 10. Amputations
  • 11. Burns
  • 12. Ethics of healthcare in disasters and conflicts
  • 13. Rehabilitation
  • Annexes

ICRC resources

Read & Learn

An initiative of the AO Foundation and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
In collaboration with The World Health Organization EMT Secretariat

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