Hostname: page-component-f7d5f74f5-g2fc4 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-10-02T19:24:00.651Z Has data issue: false Feature Flags: { "corePageComponentGetUserInfoFromSharedSession": true, "coreDisableEcommerce": false, "coreDisableSocialShare": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForArticlePurchase": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForBookPurchase": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForElementPurchase": false, "coreUseNewShare": true, "useRatesEcommerce": true } hasContentIssue false

The October 2005 Earthquake in Northern Pakistan: Pattern of Injuries in Victims Brought to the Emergency Relief Hospital, Doraha, Mansehra

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 June 2012

Fahad Sami*
Medical Student, Hamdard College of Medicine and Dentistry, Karachi, Pakistan
Fahad Ali
Medical Student, Hamdard College of Medicine and Dentistry, Karachi, Pakistan
Syed Habib Haider Zaidi
Senior House Officer, St. Andrew's Health Care Kemsley Division, Brain Injury Rehabilitation Centre, North Hampton, UK
Hiba Rehman
Medical Student, Hamdard College of Medicine and Dentistry, Karachi, Pakistan
Tashfeen Ahmad
Departments of Surgery and BBS, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan
M. Irfanullah Siddiqui
Professor and Head of the Department of Community Medicine, Hamdard College of Medicine and Dentistry, Karachi, Pakistan



Knowledge of injuries of earthquake victims is important to plan relief efforts. This cross-sectional study was conducted following the 08 October 2005 earthquake in Northern Pakistan to determine the pattern of injuries sustained and their relationship with age and gender in order to identify the medical needs in an earthquake-affected zone.


The study was conducted between 13 October and 23 October 2005 at the Emergency Relief Hospital, Doraha, Mansehra. From the 1,700 patients registered in the hospital, 310 were sampled randomly for the study. Demography and details of the patients' injuries were noted by history and physical examination. Twelve cases were omitted due to incomplete data.


Of the cases, 54% were female. Children ≤10 years old formed the largest age group. Isolated bone injuries were present in 41%, soft tissue injuries in 36%, and mixed injuries in 23% of the patients.The most common bone injury was lower limb fracture (52%), while the most common non-bone injury was non-infected, soft tissue wounds on the limbs (33%). Among patients with soft tissue injuries, gangrenous wounds were present in 9%, and grossly infected wounds in 30% (20% on limbs and 10% on rest of the body).


The population injured during the earthquake showed a higher proportion of females and children ≤10 years old, and lower limb bone injuries. The data highlight the need to address orthopedic, pediatric, and women's health issues, and for logistic arrangement of relevant diagnostic and therapeutic facilities at the initial stages of relief activities after earthquakes.

Case Study
Copyright © World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine 2009

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


1. Encyclopedia Brittanica. Earthquake. Available at Accessed 27 May 2008.Google Scholar
2. International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies: World Disasters Report 1996. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.Google Scholar
3. Ramirez, M, Peek-Asa, C: Epidemiology of traumatic injuries from earthquakes. Epidemiol Rev 2005;27(1):4755CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
4. Alexander, D: Disease epidemiology and earthquake disaster.The example of Southern Italy after the 23 November 1980 earthquake. Soc Sci Med 1982;16(22):159169.Google ScholarPubMed
5. The International Emergency Disasters Database: The Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance/Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters International Disaster Database. Available at Accessed 27 May 2008.Google Scholar
6. Noji, EK: Disasters: Introduction and state of the art. Epidemiol Rev 2005;27:38.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
7. Ahern, M, Kovats, RS, Wilkinson, P, et al. : Global health impacts of floods: Epidemiologic evidence. Epidemiol Rev 2005(27):10.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
8. Asian Development Bank and World Bank, Islamabad, Pakistan. Preliminary Damage and Needs Assessment—Pakistan 2005 Earthquake; 2005. Available at Accessed 25 March 2008.Google Scholar
9. Sibbald, B: Dire needs post earthquake. CMAJ 2005;10(173):1146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
10. Peek-Asa, C, Ramirez, M, Seligson, H, Shoaf, K: Seismic, structural, and individual factors associated with earthquake related injury. Inj Prev 2003;9(1):6266.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
11. Chan, CC, Lin, YP, Chen, HH, et al. : A population based study on the immediate and prolonged effects of the 1999 Taiwan earthquake on mortality. Ann Epidemiol 2003;3(7):502508.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
12. Roy, N, Shah, H, Patel, V, Coughlin, RR: The Gujarat earthquake (2001) experience in a seismically unprepared area: community hospital medical response. Prehosp Disaster Med 2002;4(17):186195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
13. Authority ERaR. District Profile—Mansehra. Knowledge Management Cell (KMC), District Reconstruction Unit (DRU)—Mansehra; 2007. Available at Accessed 19 January 2009.Google Scholar
14. Armenian, HK, Melkonian, A, Noji, EK, Hovanesian, AP: Deaths and injuries due to the earthquake in Armenia: A cohort approach. Int J Epidemiol 1997;4(26):806813.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
15. Bar-Dayan Y, LA, Beard, P, Mankuta, D, et al. : A multidisciplinary field hospital as a substitute for medical hospital care in the aftermath of an earthquake: The experience of the Israeli Defense Forces field hospital in Duzce, Turkey, 1999. Prehosp Disaster Med 2005;20(2):103106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
16. De Bruycker, M, Greco, D, Lechat, MF, et al. : The 1980 earthquake in Southern Italy—Morbidity and mortality. Int J Epidemiol 1985;14(1):113117.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
17. Tanaka, H, Oda, J, Iwai, A, et al. : Morbidity and mortality of hospitalized patients after the 1995 Hanshin-Awaji earthquake. AmJ Emerg Med 1999;2(17):186191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
18. Glass, RI, Urrutia, JJ, Sibony, S, et al. : Earthquake injuries related to housing in a Guatemalan village. Science 1977;197:638643.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
19. Bozkurt, M, Ocguder, A, Turktas, U, Erdem, M: The evaluation of trauma patients in Turkish Red Crescent Field Hospital following the Pakistan earthquake in 2005. Injury 2007;3(38):290297.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
20. Mulvey, JM, Awan, SU, Qadri, AA, Maqsood, MA: Profile of injuries arising from the 2005 Kashmir Earthquake: The first 72h. Injury 2008;5(39):554560.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
21. Handicap International: Emergencies Archives. Available Accesed 14 February 2006.Google Scholar
22. Rathore, FA, Farooq, F, Muzammil, S, et al. : Spinal cord injury management and rehabilitation: highlights and shortcomings from the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2008;89(3):579585.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
23. Kuwagata, Y, Oda, J, Tanaka, H, et al. : Analysis of 2,702 traumatized patients in the 1995 Hanshin-Awaji earthquake. J Trauma 1997;3(43):427432.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
24. Emami, MJ, Tavakoli, AR, Alemzadeh, H: Strategies in evaluation and management of Bam earthquake victims. Prehosp Disaster Med 2005;5(20):327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
25. van den Berg, B, Grievink, L, Yzermans, J, Lebret, E: Medically unexplained physical symptoms in the aftermath of disasters. Epidemiol Rev 2005(27):12.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
26. Roussos, A, Goenjin, AK, Steinberg, AM, et al. : Posttraumatic stress and depressive reactions among children and adolescents after the 1999 earthquake in Ano Liosia, Greece. Am J Psychiatry 2005;162(3):530537.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed