Clinical review: Mass casualty triage - Pandemic influenza and critical care

Kirsty Challen, Andrew Bentley, John Bright, Darren Walter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Worst case scenarios for pandemic influenza planning in the US involve over 700,000 patients requiring mechanical ventilation. UK planning predicts a 231% occupancy of current level 3 (intensive care unit) bed capacity. Critical care planners need to recognise that mortality is likely to be high and the risk to healthcare workers significant. Contingency planning should, therefore, be multi-faceted, involving a robust health command structure, the facility to expand critical care provision in terms of space, equipment and staff and cohorting of affected patients in the early stages. It should also be recognised that despite this expansion of critical care, demand will exceed supply and a process for triage needs to be developed that is valid, reproducible, transparent and consistent with distributive justice. We advocate the development and validation of physiological scores for use as a triage tool, coupled with candid public discussion of the process.

Original languageEnglish
Article number212
JournalCritical Care
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2007

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute


Dive into the research topics of 'Clinical review: Mass casualty triage - Pandemic influenza and critical care'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this