A critical incident is an event during which the sights, sounds, and smells are so vivid as to cause any person to feel a significant increase in stress and stress reactions - immediate or delayed. Among the most common are:

* An incident which produces an intense level of immediate or delayed emotional response(i.e. death or injury of an emergency responder).

*Loss of a patient following an unusual or extremely prolonged expenditure of emotional and physical energy by the personnel.

*Death or severe injury of a child.

*Mass casualties or multiple fatalities.

*An accumulation of stressful incidents within a short period of time or multiple incidents at the same time.

What is traumatic foe one person may not be traumatic for another...but stress can happen to anyone. Stress from a critical incident cannot be prevented, it is the result of exposure to trauma in the profession...but it can be managed.

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