Post-earthquake injuries treated at a field hospital --- Haiti, 2010.MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2011 Jan 07; 59(51):1673-7.MM
On January 12, 2010, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, resulting in an estimated 222,570 deaths and 300,000 persons with injuries. The University of Miami Global Institute/Project Medishare (UMGI/PM) established the first field hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, after the earthquake. To characterize injuries and surgical procedures performed by UMGI/PM and assess specialized medical, surgical, and rehabilitation needs, UMGI/PM and CDC conducted a retrospective medical record review of all available inpatient records for the period January 13-May 28, 2010. This report describes the results of that review, which indicated that, during the study period (when a total of 1,369 admissions occurred), injury-related diagnoses were recorded for 581 (42%) admitted patients, of whom 346 (60%) required a surgical procedure. The most common injury diagnoses were fractures/dislocations, wound infections, and head, face, and brain injuries. The most common injury-related surgical procedures were wound debridement/skin grafting, treatment for orthopedic trauma, and surgical amputation. Among patient records with documented injury-related mechanisms, 162 (28%) indicated earthquake-related injuries. Earthquake preparedness planning for densely populated areas in resource-limited settings such as Haiti should account for injury-related medical, surgical, and rehabilitation needs that must be met immediately after the event and during the recovery phase, when altered physical and social environments can contribute to a continued elevated need for inpatient management of injuries.