Secondary triage of one hundred casualties, transfer and treatment of eight casualties from The Colectiv night club fire disaster in Bucharest: the experience of the Brussels Military Burn Center, the tale of a successful European collaboration.

Dr Serge Jennes1

1Brussels and Charleroi Burn Wound Center , Seneffe, Belgium


Objectives:In the aftermath of the Colectiv tragedy on the 30ieth of October 2015, our military burn center received the mission to flight a burn team (B-team) to Bucharest and to accept eight severely burn victims. We would like to share the lessons learned as a burn team and as a burn center from this calamity and EU collaboration.

Methods:We conducted a retrospective study based on patient data and literature review.

Results and discussion:The B-team sent to Bucharest on November the 5th, 2015 performed the secondary triage of 120 casualties in 11 hospitals over 10 hours. The criteria they used for triage, eligibility for air evacuation (AE) and prioritization for evacuation consisted of TBSA burned (TBSAb) > 15%, localization and depth of the burn wounds, ventilation and hemodynamic parameters compatible with AE, tolerance to intrahospital transportation, GCS at the bedside, social and cultural backgrounds. The AE has been performed by the Romanian air force. In Brussels we admitted on postburn day #9, eight severely burn victims: age 15-42 years-old (mean age 28), TBSAb 15-54% (mean TBSAb 34%) and 3 smoke inhalation injuries. We activated our mass casualty disaster plan as preparation for the admission at once of 8 severe burn casualties. None of the patients died. In mass burn casualties disaster in Europe, there is probably the need for a European plan.

Conclusion:This is the story of a successful collaboration between Romania and Belgium. A European response for MBCD has emerged as a consequence of this tragedy.


Anesthesiologist and intensive care physician, Colonel in the Belgian Defence Medical component, burn specialist for 20 years, 30 articles in peer reviewed journals and books; head of the Charleroi burn center; former head of the Brussels burn center

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