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Ann Emerg Med. 1994 Apr;23(4):731-6.

Hurricane-related emergency department visits in an inland area: an analysis of the public health impact of Hurricane Hugo in North Carolina.

Author information

1
Epidemic Intelligence Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.

Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the public health impact of a hurricane on an inland area.

DESIGN:

Descriptive study.

SETTING:

Seven hospital emergency departments.

PARTICIPANTS:

Patients who were treated from September 22 to October 6, 1989, for an injury or illness related to Hurricane Hugo.

INTERVENTION:

None.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:

Over the two-week study period, 2,090 patients were treated for injuries or illnesses related to the hurricane. Of these, 1,833 (88%) were treated for injuries. Insect stings and wounds accounted for almost half of the total cases. A substantial proportion (26%) of the patients suffering from stings had a generalized reaction (eg, hives, wheezing, or both). Nearly one-third of the wounds were caused by chain saws.

CONCLUSION:

Hurricanes can lead to substantial morbidity in an inland area. Disaster plans should address risks associated with stinging insects and hazardous equipment and should address ways to improve case reporting.

PMID:
8161040
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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