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J Evid Based Med. 2008 Nov;1(1):27-36. doi: 10.1111/j.1756-5391.2008.00012.x.

Emergency response and medical rescue in the worst hit Mianyang areas after the Wenchuan earthquake.

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  • 1Mianyang Bureau of Public Health, Mianyang, China.

Abstract

The 12 May 2008 earthquake caused damage to 88% of the health systems in the worst hit areas of Mianyang with 326 casualties and the direct economic loss of RMB 3124 billion. Within 30 minutes of the earthquake, the Mianyang headquarters for earthquake disaster relief and the Mianyang public health headquarters for medical rescue and treatment were organized. Five medical teams were sent to Beichuang County, the worst hit Mianyang area, four hours after the earthquake. A total of 22,947 wounded and sick people were delivered to local hospitals after simple triage and rapid treatment through three stations. By 30 June, the Mianyang medical organization had received 379,600 people and admitted 21,628 inpatients. These 2772 severely wounded (including 146 with limbs amputated and 846 who died in hospital). Since 17 May, 3381 wounded had been transferred to 14 provincial and city-level hospitals across China. On 20 June, the Mianyang Rehabilitation Center for wounded and sick people was established and received 156 rehabilitation inpatients. Together with the medical team for psychological intervention, they provided psychological support for over 70,000 people. Within two hours of the earthquake, the Mianyang Organization for Health and Epidemic Control and Prevention launched the emergency response plan for major natural disasters. The organization sent emergency teams for disease prevention and control and completed disinfection and burial of corpses and disposal of carcasses, monitoring of water quality and epidemics, disinfection of environmental ruins, epidemic control in resettled areas, precautions against secondary disasters caused by the earthquake, and large-scale health education. The emergency command system for medical rescue and disease control and prevention in the Mianyang areas integrated resources, carried out unified command, and responded rapidly. Furthermore, the headquarters of medical relief co-ordinated and united the governmental and nongovernmental organizations, achieving good performance for both medical relief and epidemic control. This experience of earthquake medical relief will benefit post-disaster reconstruction, as well as the establishment of national and regional emergency response systems.

© 2008 Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd and Chinese Cochrane Center, West China Hospital of Sichuan University.

PMID:
21348973
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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