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The aim of this study was to analyze the profile of chest injuries, oxygen therapy for respiratory failure, and the outcomes of victims after the Jiangsu tornado, which occurred on June 23, 2016 in Yancheng City, Jiangsu Province, China.
The clinical records of 144 patients referred to Yancheng City No.1 People’s Hospital from June 23 through June 25 were retrospectively investigated. Of those patients, 68 (47.2%) sustained major chest injuries. The demographic details, trauma history, details of injuries and Abbreviated Injury Scores (AIS), therapy for respiratory failure, surgical procedures, length of intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital stay, and mortality were analyzed.
Of the 68 patients, 41 (60.3%) were female and 27 (39.7%) were male. The average age of the injured patients was 57.1 years. Forty-six patients (67.6%) suffered from polytrauma. The mean thoracic AIS of the victims was calculated as 2.85 (SD = 0.76). Rib fracture was the most common chest injury, noted in 56 patients (82.4%). Pulmonary contusion was the next most frequent injury, occurring in 12 patients (17.7%). Ten patients with severe chest trauma were admitted to ICU. The median ICU stay was 11.7 (SD = 8.5) days. Five patients required intubation and ventilation, one patient was treated with noninvasive positive pressure ventilation (NPPV), and four patients were treated with high-flow nasal cannula (HFNC). Three patients died during hospitalization. The hospital mortality was 4.41%.
Chest trauma was a common type of injury after tornado. The most frequent thoracic injuries were rib fractures and pulmonary contusion. Severe chest trauma is usually associated with a high incidence of respiratory support requirements and a long length of stay in the ICU. Early initiation of appropriate oxygen therapy was vital to restoring normal respiratory function and saving lives. Going forward, HFNC might be an effective and well-tolerated therapeutic addition to the management of acute respiratory failure in chest trauma.
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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