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In July 2016, a mass-casualty stabbing attack took place at a facility for disabled persons located in Sagamihara City (Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan). The attack resulted in 45 casualties, including 19 deaths. The study hospital dispatched physicians to the field and admitted multiple casualties. This report aimed to review the physicians’ experiences and to provide insights for the formulation of response measures for similar incidents in the future.
This incident involved 30 emergency teams and 12 fire department teams, including those from neighboring fire departments. Five physicians from three medical institutions, including the study hospital, entered the field. The Simple Triage and Rapid Treatment (START) method was used on the field. The final field triage category count was: 20 red, four yellow, two green, and 19 black tags. All the casualties (n = 26) except for the 19 black tag casualties were transported to one of six neighboring medical institutions.
The median age of the transported casualties was 41 years (interquartile range [IQR] = 35.5 – 42.0). Three casualties (21.4%) were in hemorrhagic shock on arrival at the hospital. Twelve patients had multiple cervical stab wounds (median four wounds; IQR = 3.75 – 6.0). A total of 91.7% of these stab wounds were in mid-neck Zone II region. Of the 12 patients with cervical stab wounds, four (33.3%) required emergency surgery, and the rest were sutured on an out-patient basis. One patient had already been sutured on the field. All patients requiring emergency surgery had deep wounds, including those of the carotid vein, thyroid gland, nerves, and the trachea. Eight of the casualties were hospitalized at the study institution. Five of them were admitted to the intensive care unit. There were no deaths among the casualties transported to the hospitals.
Regional core disaster medical hospitals must take on a central role, particularly in the case of local disasters. Horizontal communication and interactions should be reinforced by devising protocols and conducting joint training for effective inter-department collaborations on the field.
Maruhashi, T, Takeuchi, I, Hattori, J, Kataoka, Y, Asari, Y. The Tsukui (Japan) Yamayuri-en facility stabbing mass-casualty incident. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2019;34(2):203–208
We quantified an absolute imbalance of the medical risks and the support needs for children at each disaster-based hospital in Kanagawa immediately following the occurrence of a large earthquake by using the risk resource ratio (RRR) and need for medical resources (NMR).
The RRR and NMR of 33 disaster-based hospitals were estimated through dividing the estimated number of pediatric victims by the number of critically patients. We calculated the ratio of the NMR of each hospital.
The total number of pediatric victims in Kanagawa was estimated at 8,391. The total number of vacant beds for pediatric victims was 352. The median RRR and NMR of the total number of pediatric victims were 27 and 224. The median RRR and NMR of the number of critically ill pediatric patients were 27 and 12.
The absolute imbalance of the RRR and NMR for children in Kanagawa was quantified. This suggests that we might embark on preparedness strategies for children in advance. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;13:672–676)
Because of great intervening distances, international medical relief activities in catastrophic, sudden-onset disasters often do not begin until days 5–7 after the precipitating event. The medical needs of those affected and what public health problems exist in the community in the week after the tsunami disaster in Papua New Guinea(PNG) were investigated.
The Japan Medical Team for Disaster Relief (JMTDR) conducted investigative hearings at the District Office responsible for the management of the disaster, the Care Center, and the Hospitals in Aitape, Vanimo, and Wewak in PNG.
The numbers of in-patients in the Aitate, Vanimo, and Wewak Hospitals, and in the Care Center in Aitape were 291, >300, 68, and 104, respectively. The exact number of people affected was unknown at the Aitape District Office. There ivas no lack of medical supplies and drugs in the hospital, but the Care Center in Aitape did not have sufficient quantities of antibiotics. No outbreak of communicable disease occurred, despite the presence of risk factors such as the dense concentration of affected people and the constant prevalence of malaria and diarrhea. The water at Wewak General Hospital contained chlorine and was suitable for drinking, but that elsewhere contained bacteria.
On about the 7th day after the event, the available information still was incomplete, and it was a time to shift from initial emergency activities to specialized medical care. Although no outbreak of communicable disease actually occurred, there was much anxiety about it because of the risk factors present. For effective medical care at this stage, it is essential to conduct a survey of actual medical needs that also include epidemiological factors.