Transfusion support in mass casualty events: lessons for hospital and pathology preparedness from the Bourke Street Mall incident

Linda Saravanan and Amanda Ormerod
Med J Aust 2020; 212 (11): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.50611
Published online: 25 May 2020

An integrated approach that includes a central role for pathology laboratories is necessary

Mass casualty events (MCEs) are defined as events or other circumstances “where the normal major incident response of one or several health organisations must be augmented by extraordinary measures to maintain an efficient, suitable and sustainable response”.1 Haemorrhage is a leading cause of mortality in MCEs, accounting for almost 50% of deaths in the first 24 hours,2,3 and transfusion emergency preparedness is increasingly recognised as a critical element of an integrated approach to MCEs,4 with timely availability and appropriate delivery of blood components being an essential part of management.

  • Linda Saravanan1
  • Amanda Ormerod2,3

  • 1 Melbourne Pathology, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2 Latrobe Regional Hospital, Traralgon, VIC
  • 3 Dorevitch Pathology, Traralgon, VIC


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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