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Landslides represent a frequent and threatening natural disaster. The aim of this study was to investigate the injury patterns observed after a landslide and to discuss how to minimize the damage caused by a landslide disaster.
A landslide occurred on Oshima Island, Japan, on October 16, 2013. A total of 49 victims with landslide-related injuries were identified and analyzed.
The patients ranged in age from 5 to 89 years with an average age of 61.0±19.3 years. Of all patients, 69.4% were triaged as black. Of 15 patients who were treated in the nearest hospital (the only hospital on the island), 8 were triaged as red and yellow with severe chest or pelvic injury and a high Injury Severity Score (average score, 25.6; range, 4–45). Of these, 75% had chest injury and 75% had pelvic injury. The percentage of chest and/or pelvic injury was 100% in patients triaged as red or yellow. Traumatic asphyxia was diagnosed in 62.5% of these patients.
Compression of the trunk was the main injury in patients triaged as red or yellow after this landslide disaster. Evacuation in advance, the rapid launch of emergency medical support, and knowledge of this specific injury pattern are essential to minimize the potential damage resulting from landslide disasters. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;10:248–252)