Objective To review the essential principles involved in rescue missions for natural and man-made disasters.
Method A description of the relief of a concentration camp in 1945 as an example of the logistics required in any major disaster or rescue.
Results The arrival of trained Army rescue teams on the first day and dealing systematically with priorities in salvage, treatment and nursing saved many lives, even of desperately ill patients.
Conclusions A centralised administration and organisation of supplies is the first priority. Suitable intravenous and very light nutrients, and the prevention and combating of infections are more urgent than the provision of shelter and clothing.
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