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The aim of this study is to characterize the injury profiles and outcomes of victims of a tornado in Jiangsu Province, China.
This study retrospectively investigated the clinical records of 144 patients treated at a teaching hospital due to a tornado. Each patient’s demographic data, diagnosis, injury types, causes of injury, infection status, and outcomes were all reviewed.
Of the 144 patients, 64 (44.4%) were male, and 80 (55.6%) were female. The patients’ ages ranged from 2 months to 94 years; 91 (63.19%) were admitted within the first 12 h after the disaster. The most frequently injured sites were the body surfaces (24.48%), followed by the limbs and pelvis (21.79%) and chest (20.3%). Soft-tissue injuries and fractures were the most frequent injuries. Traumatic brain injuries were the main causes of death. Tornado-related injuries were primarily caused by flying/falling bricks, wood, and glass. Twenty-three (15.9%) patients suffered from infections, which consisted mainly of skin/soft tissue infections and pneumonia.
Destructive tornadoes often cause heavy casualties with little warning. Medical aid agencies must be prepared to accommodate the massive numbers of injured patients after a catastrophe. Proper triage and prompt treatment of injured victims may decrease mortality. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;xx:xxx-xxx).
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