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Disaster-Related Injury Management: High Prevalence of Wound Infection After Super Typhoon Haiyan

  • Yong Won Kim (a1), Seong Yeop Kim (a2), Hoon Kim (a3), Moo Eob Ahn (a4), Kang Hyun Lee (a1) and Eun Seok Hong (a5)...



After Super Typhoon Haiyan, a category 5 tropical cyclone, insufficient resources were available for medical management. Many patients in the Philippines were wounded as a result of the disaster. We examined the prevalence, risk factors, and consequences of disaster-related wounds and wound infection in the post-disaster period.


We performed a retrospective review of consecutive patients admitted to a Korean Disaster Relief Team clinic at St. Paul’s Hospital, Tacloban City, Republic of Philippines, between December 9 and 13, 2013. Traumatic injury patients were included; patients not exhibiting a wound were excluded.


Of the 160 patients enrolled in the study, 71 (44.4%) had infected wounds. There were no significant differences in the age, sex, past medical history, wound site, wound depth, injury mechanism, or inducer of injury between the uninfected and infected groups. In the univariate analysis, a foreign-body-contaminated wound, a chronic wound, elapsed time from injury to medical contact, an inadequately cared for wound, and need for subsequent wound management were associated with wound infection (P<0.05). The multivariate analysis revealed that foreign body contamination and having an inadequately cared for wound were associated with wound infection (odds ratio [OR]: 10.12, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.59-28.56; OR: 3.51, 95% CI: 1.07-11.51, respectively).


In the post-disaster situation, many wound infections required definitive care. Wound infection was associated with inadequately cared for wounds and foreign-body-contaminated wounds. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;10:28–33)


Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to Eun Seok Hong, MD, Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, Ulsan University, 877 Jeonha-dong, Dong-gu, Ulsan 682-714, Republic of Korea (e-mail:


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