Pediatric Surgery International

, Volume 29, Issue 10, pp 1047–1051

Care of children in a natural disaster: lessons learned from the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami

Review Article

Abstract

The Great East Japan earthquake was one of the most devastating natural disasters ever to hit Japan. We present features of the disaster and the radioactive accident in Fukushima. About 19,000 are dead or remain missing mainly due to the tsunami, but children accounted for only 6.5 % of the deaths. The Japanese Society of Pediatric Surgeons set up the Committee of Aid for Disaster, and collaborated with the Japanese Society of Emergency Pediatrics to share information and provide pediatric medical care in the disaster area. Based on the lessons learned from the experiences, the role of pediatric surgeons and physicians in natural disasters is discussed.

Keywords

Earthquake Tsunami Nuclear accident Natural disaster Children 

References

  1. 1.
    Nakamura H (1995) Overview of the Hanshin-Awaji earthquake disaster. Acta Paediatr Jpn 37:713–716PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Weiner DL, Manzi SF, Waltzman ML, Morin M, Meginniss A, Fleisher GR (2006) FEMA’s organized response with a pediatric subspecialty team: the national disaster medical system response: a pediatric perspective. Pediatrics 117:S405–S411PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Gnauck KA, Nufer NE, LaValley JM, Crandall CS, Craig FW, Wilson-Ramirez GB (2007) Do pediatric and adult disaster victims differ? A descriptive analysis of clinical encounters from four natural disaster DMAT deployments. Prehosp Disas Med 22:67–73Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Fire and Disaster Management Agency of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication (2012) Touhokuchihou Taiheiyouoki Jishin, Dai 143 Hou [Report on the Great East Japan Earthquake, No 143]. http://www.fdma.go.jp/bn/higaihou/pdf/jishin/143.pdf (Accessed Feb 6 2012)
  5. 5.
    Higashi Nihon Daishinsai Giseisya no Danjyo, Nenrei Kousei [Age and sex composition of mortality in the Great East Japan Earthquake] (2012) http://www2.ttcn.ne.jp/honkawa/4363f.html (Accessed Feb 6 2012)
  6. 6.
    Hayashi K, Tomita N (2012) Lessons learned from the Great East Japan earthquake: impact on child and adolescent health. Asia Pac J Public Health 24:681–688PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (2011) Background paper prepared for the upper house Tohoku reconstruction committee on 1st Aug 2011Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Murray JS, Monteiro S (2012) Disaster risk and children. Part I: why poverty-stricken populations are impacted most. J Spec Pediatr Nurs 17:168–170PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Yasumura S, Hosoya M, Yamashita S, Kamiya K, Abe M, Akashi M, Kodama K, Ozasa K, Fukushima Health Management Survey Group (2012) Study protocol for the Fukushima health management survey. J Epidemiol 22:375–383PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Tsubokura M, Gilmour S, Takahashi K, Oikawa T, Kanazawa Y (2012) Internal radiation exposure after the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster. JAMA 308:669–670PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Tokonami S, Hosoda M, Akiba S, Sorimachi A, Kashiwakura I, Balonov M (2012) Thyroid doses for evacuees from the Fukushima nuclear accident. Sci Rep 2:507PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    IAEA (2013) Fukushima nuclear plant cleanup may take more than 40 years. http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/13/04/23/2139218/fukushima-nuclear-plant-cleanup-may-take-more-than-40-years (Accessed Apr 24 2013)
  13. 13.
    Markenson D, Redlener I (2004) Pediatric terrorism preparedness national guidelines and recommendations: findings of an evidence-based consensus process. Biosec Bioterror 2:301–319CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Mace SE, Bern AI (2007) Needs assessment: are DMAT’s up for the challenge of a pediatric disaster? Am Emerg Med 25:762–769CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Murray JS (2010) Responding to the psychosocial needs of children and families in disasters. Crit Care Nurs 22:481–491Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Burke RV, Iverson E, Goodhue CJ, Neches RN, Upperman JS (2010) Disaster and mass casualty events in the pediatric population. Sem Pediatr Surg 19:265–270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Kanter RK (2012) Regional variation in critical care evacuation needs for children after a mass casualty incident. Disaster Med Public Health Prep 6:146–149PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Bohn D, Kanter RK, Burns J, Barfield WD, Kissoon N, Task Force for Pediatric Emergency Mass Critical Care (2011) Supplies and equipment for pediatric emergency mass critical care. Pediatr Crit Care Med 12:S120–S127PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Barfield WD, Krug SE, Kanter RK, Gausche-Hill M, Brantley MD, Chung S, Kissoon N (2011) Neonatal and pediatric regionalized systems in pediatric emergency mass critical care. Pediatr Crit Care Med 12:S128–S134PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Barthel ER, Pierce JR, Goodhue CJ, Ford HR, Grikscheit TC, Upperman JS (2011) Availability of a pediatric trauma center in a disaster surge decreases triage time of the pediatric surge population: a population kinetics model. Theor Biol Med Model 8:38PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Takada S, Shintani Y, Sohma O, Tsuneishi S, Uetani Y, Nakamura H (1995) Difficulties of families with handicapped children after the Hanshin-Awaji earthquake. Acta Paediatr Jpn 37:735–740PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Peek L, Stough L (2010) Children with disabilities in the context of disaster: a social vulnerability perspective. Child Develop 81:1260–1270PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Jia Z, Shi L, Duan G, Liu W, Pan X, Chen Y, Tian W (2013) Traumatic experiences and mental health consequences among child survivors of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake: a community-based follow-up study. BMC Public Health 13:104PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Mason KE, Urbansky H, Crocker L, Connor M, Anderson, Kissoon N, Task Force for Pediatric Emergency Mass Critical Care (2011) Pediatric emergency mass critical care: focus on family-centered care. Pediatr Crit Care Med 12:S157–S162PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takeo Yonekura
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shigeru Ueno
    • 3
  • Tadashi Iwanaka
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Pediatric Surgery, Nara HospitalKinki University School of MedicineIkomaJapan
  2. 2.Chief of Committee of Survey for Pediatric Emergencies of the Japanese Society of Pediatric Surgeons, Department of Pediatric SurgeryKinki University School of MedicineIkomaJapan
  3. 3.Immediate Past-Executive Director of Committee of Survey for Pediatric Emergencies of the Japanese Society of Pediatric Surgeons, Department of Pediatric SurgeryTokai University School of MedicineIseharaJapan
  4. 4.Immediate Past-President of the Japanese Society of Pediatric Surgeons, Department of Pediatric SurgeryUniversity of Tokyo HospitalTokyoJapan

Personalised recommendations