Family physicians can encourage disaster planning and mock disaster exercises in their community. If involved in an actual disaster, the family physician can be helpful as a triage officer in emergency, in initial resuscitation, in minor treatment, in discharging stable patients, and in counselling victims of post-traumatic shock syndrome. The key to effective performance is being prepared beforehand to cope with the stress and confusion of the incident. Use of laboratory and diagnostic imaging must be curtailed until all severely injured patients are treated
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