Bushfire disaster burn casualty management: The Australian "black Saturday" bushfire experience

Marc Seifman, Edmund W. Ek, Hana Menezes, Warren M. Rozen, Iain S Whitaker, Heather J. Cleland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Mass burn disasters are among the most difficult disasters to manage, with major burns requiring complex management in a multidisciplinary setting and specialist burns services having limited capacity to deal with large numbers of complex patients. There is a paucity of literature addressing health system responses to mass burn disasters resulting from wildfires, with the events of the "Black Saturday" disaster in the state of Victoria, Australia, able to provide a unique opportunity to draw lessons and increase awareness of key management issues arising in mass burn casualty disasters. The event comprised the worst natural disaster in the state's history and one of the worst wildfire disasters in world history, claiming 173 lives and costing more than AUD 4 billion. This article draws on the national burns disaster plan instituted, Australian Mass Casualty Burn Disaster Plan (AUSBURNPLAN), and details the management of mass burn cases through a systems-based perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)460-463
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Plastic Surgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • burn
  • disaster
  • resource
  • skin
  • debridement
  • thermal

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