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J Spinal Cord Med. 2007;30(4):369-72.

Earthquakes and rehabilitation needs: experiences from Bam, Iran.

Author information

1
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Department, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. grezaraissi@yahoo.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In December 2003, a devastating earthquake destroyed Bam and surrounding areas in Iran, leaving many people with residual deficits and disabilities, of which approximately 240 patients had spinal cord injury (SCI).

METHODS:

As an independent volunteer working in outpatient clinics, I visited the patients as part of a mobile team and set up a short educational course in spinal cord medicine.

RESULTS:

I visited 34 patients with SCI in the first 3 months. Eight months after the disaster, I visited 54 patients with SCI, 29 female (53.7%) and 25 male (46.3%). Postdisaster problems were identified, including need for accurate data collection, identification of patients' conditions, attention paid to psychosocial issues, ethical dilemmas, and research needs.

CONCLUSION:

Disaster preparedness for earthquakes should include first aid and injury prevention, coordination of relief efforts, basic education and medical care, and short-and long-term rehabilitation needs. The major focus of rehabilitation medicine specialists' should be education of the general and professional population toward integrating the concept of rehabilitation.

PMID:
17853660
PMCID:
PMC2031928
DOI:
10.1080/10790268.2007.11753954
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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