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Study of Medical Supply and Demand Balance for the Nankai Trough Earthquake

  • Yosuke Takada (a1) (a2) and Yasuhiro Otomo (a1)

Abstract

Introduction:

The Nankai Trough, marking the boundary between the Eurasian Plate and the Philippine Sea Plate, is forecasted to create a tragic earthquake and tsunami within 30 years.

Aim:

To clarify the gap between medical supplies and demand.

Methods:

Collected the data of the estimation of injured persons from each prefecture throughout Japan, and also the number of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and High Care Unit (HCU) beds in Japan from the Ministry of Health database. We re-calculated the number of severe cases based on official data. Moreover, we calculated the number of beds of hospitals with the capacity to receive severe patients.

Results:

The total number of disaster base hospitals is 723 hospitals with 6556 ICU beds, and 545 hospitals have 5,248 HCU beds throughout Japan. When the Nankai Trough earthquake occurs, 187 disaster base hospitals would be located in the area with seismic intensity 6-upper on the Japanese Seismic Intensity Scale of 0-7, and 79 disaster base hospitals would be located in the tsunami inundation area. The estimated total number of injured persons is 661,604 including 26,857 severe cases, 290,065 moderate cases, and 344,682 minor cases.

Discussion:

Even if all ICU and HCU beds are usable for severe patients, there will be 15,053 more beds needed. The Cabinet Office of Japan assumes that 60% of hospital beds would not be able to be used in an area of the seismic intensity of 6-upper. If 80% of beds are used in the non-disaster time, the number of beds which are usable at the time of a disaster will decrease more. The beds needed for severe patients would be significantly lacking when the Nankai Trough earthquake occurs. It will be necessary to start treatment of the severe patients who are “more likely to be saved more.”

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Study of Medical Supply and Demand Balance for the Nankai Trough Earthquake

  • Yosuke Takada (a1) (a2) and Yasuhiro Otomo (a1)

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