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A survey was conducted to describe the characteristics of patients treated for hypothermia after the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Written questionnaires were distributed to 72 emergency medical hospitals in Miyagi Prefecture. Data were requested regarding inpatients with a temperature less than 36ºC admitted within 72 hours after the earthquake. The availability of functional heating systems and the time required to restore heating after the earthquake were also documented.
A total of 91 inpatients from 13 hospitals were identified. Tsunami victims comprised 73% of the patients with hypothermia. Within 24 hours of the earthquake, 66 patients were admitted. Most patients with a temperature of 32ºC or higher were treated with passive external rewarming with blankets. Discharge without sequelae was reported for 83.3% of patients admitted within 24 hours of the earthquake and 44.0% of those admitted from 24 to 72 hours after the earthquake. Heating systems were restored within 3 days of the earthquake at 43% of the hospitals.
Hypothermia in patients hospitalized within 72 hours of the earthquake was primarily due to cold-water exposure during the tsunami. Many patients were successfully treated in spite of the post-earthquake disruption of regional social infrastructure.(Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2014;0:1-11)
To clarify advance measures for business continuity taken by disaster base hospitals involved in the Great East Japan Earthquake.
The predisaster situation regarding stockpiles was abstracted from a 2010 survey. Timing of electricity and water restoration and sufficiency of supplies to continue operations were investigated through materials from Miyagi Prefecture disaster medicine headquarters (prefectural medical headquarters) and disaster base hospitals (14 hospitals) in Miyagi Prefecture after the East Japan earthquake.
The number of hospitals with less than 1 day of stockpiles in reserve before the disaster was 7 (50%) for electricity supplies, 8 (57.1%) for water, 6 (42.9%) for medical goods, and 6 (42.9%) for food. After the disaster, restoration of electricity and water did not occur until the second day or later at 8 of 13 (61.5%) hospitals, respectively. By the fourth postdisaster day, 14 hospitals had requested supplies from the prefectural medical headquarters: 9 (64.3%) for electricity supplies, 2 (14.3%) for water trucks, 9 (64.3%) for medical goods, and 6 (42.9%) for food.
The lack of supplies needed to continue operations in disaster base hospitals following the disaster clearly indicated that current business continuity plans require revision. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2013;0:1-6)
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