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Compr Ther. 2006 Spring;32(1):39-42.

Treating the victims after disaster: physical and psychological effects.

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University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, USA.


Disaster victims present in waves. The initial presenting group is traditionally suffering from mild physical injuries, and the second wave, usually following 6 h later, typically has more serious trauma. Medical problems typically are not adequately treated when a person has psychological reasons to worry about survival. The third wave of victims from untreated medical problems occurs 6 d after the initial disaster. Triage of the initial waves is important to prevent the system from becoming overwhelmed and to begin looking for those who will suffer long-term psychological sequelae. Early intervention in those at greatest risk for long-term issues is important and can be accomplished.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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