A Scoping Review of the Essential Components of Emergency Medical Response Systems for Mass Casualty Incidents

Agnes Usoro, Amber Mehmood, Sarah Rapaport, Angelica K. Ezeigwe, Adebisi Adeyeye, Oluwafunmilayo Akinlade, Jennifer Dias, Daniel J. Barnett, Edbert B. Hsu, Craig Tower, Junaid Razzak

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Emergency medical (EM) response systems require extensive coordination, particularly during mass casualty incidents (MCIs). The recognition of preparedness gaps and contextual priorities to MCI response capacity in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) can be better understood through the components of EM reponse systems. This study aims to delineate essential components and provide a framework for effective emergency medical response to MCIs. Methods: A scoping review was conducted using 4 databases. Title and abstract screening was followed by full-text review. Thematic analysis was conducted to identify themes pertaining to the essential components and integration of EM response systems. Results: Of 20,456 screened citations, 181 articles were included in the analysis. Seven major and 40 sub-themes emerged from the content analysis as the essential components and supportive elements of MCI medical response. The essential components of MCI response were integrated into a framework demonstrating interrelated connections between essential and supportive elements. Conclusions: Definitions of essential components of EM response to MCIs vary considerably. Most literature pertaining to MCI response originates from high income countries with far fewer reports from LMICs. Integration of essential components is needed in different geopolitical and economic contexts to ensure an effective MCI emergency medical response.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere274
JournalDisaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • disaster medicine
  • emergency medical services
  • mass casualty incidents


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