Emergency surgery data and documentation reporting forms for sudden-onset humanitarian crises, natural disasters and the existing burden of surgical disease

Frederick M. Burkle, Jason W. Nickerson, Johan Von Schreeb, Anthony D. Redmond, Kelly A. McQueen, Ian Norton, Nobhojit Roy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Abstract Following large-scale disasters and major complex emergencies, especially in resource-poor settings, emergency surgery is practiced by Foreign Medical Teams (FMTs) sent by governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). These surgical experiences have not yielded an appropriate standardized collection of data and reporting to meet standards required by national authorities, the World Health Organization, and the Inter-Agency Standing Committee's Global Health Cluster. Utilizing the 2011 International Data Collection guidelines for surgery initiated by Medecins Sans Frontieres, the authors of this paper developed an individual patient-centric form and an International Standard Reporting Template for Surgical Care to record data for victims of a disaster as well as the co-existing burden of surgical disease within the affected community. The data includes surgical patient outcomes and perioperative mortality, along with referrals for rehabilitation, mental health and psychosocial care. The purpose of the standard data format is fourfold: (1) to ensure that all surgical providers, especially from indigenous first responder teams and others performing emergency surgery, from national and international (Foreign) medical teams, contribute relevant and purposeful reporting; (2) to provide universally acceptable forms that meet the minimal needs of both national authorities and the Health Cluster; (3) to increase transparency and accountability, contributing to improved humanitarian coordination; and (4) to facilitate a comprehensive review of services provided to those affected by the crisis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)577-582
Number of pages6
JournalPrehospital and Disaster Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes



  • burden of surgical disease
  • data collection
  • emergency surgery
  • field epidemiology
  • foreign medical team
  • health cluster
  • humanitarian assistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency
  • Emergency Medicine

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