|The Red Cross Wound Classification (ICRC, 1997, 16 p.)|
· Wound assessment
Wounds are scored in all ICRC hospitals. A surgeon is assessing wounds in surgical terms if he scores them. Surgical communications about wounds is facilitated.
· Establishing a scientific approach to war surgery
The classification permits comparison of treatments of like wounds and prognoses of allied wounds. The example of a "gunshot wound of the thigh" pertains: the treatments and prognoses differ according to amount of tissue damage, the degree of bone comminution and whether the femoral vessels are injured. Before it can be determined whether external skeletal fixation or skeletal traction is best for femur fractures, the patients' wounds must be categorised according to grade and type.
· Surgical audit
The performance of individual hospitals, medical teams or surgeons could be measured by mortality, morbidity and use of resources within comparable categories. An example, relating to the adequacy of the primary wound surgery, is the number and cause of deaths associated with V 0 wounds.
· Wound information from the field
The ICRC hospitals treat more than 4,000 penetrating wounds a year; analysis of a larger number of scored wounds will eventually clarify the relationship of experimental wound ballistics to the management of war wounds.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, together with the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, form the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
The ICRC, which gave rise to the Movement, is an independent humanitarian institution. As a neutral intermediary in the event of armed conflict or unrest it endeavours, on its own initiative or on the basis of the Geneva Conventions, to bring protection and assistance to the victims of international and non international armed conflict and internal disturbances and tension.