South African Journal of Surgery
On-line version ISSN 2078-5151
The International Society for Burns Injuries (ISBI) has published guidelines for the management of multiple or mass burns casualties, and recommends that 'each country has or should have a disaster planning system that addresses its own particular needs.' The need for a national burns disaster plan integrated with national and provincial disaster planning was discussed at the South African Burns Society Congress in 2009, but there was no real involvement in the disaster planning prior to the 2010 World Cup; the country would have been poorly prepared had there been a burns disaster during the event. This article identifies some of the lessons learnt and strategies derived from major burns disasters and burns disaster planning from other regions. Members of the South African Burns Society are undertaking an audit of burns care in South Africa to investigate the feasibility of a national burns disaster plan. This audit (which is still under way) also aims to identify weaknesses of burns care in South Africa and implement improvements where necessary.