Advertisement

European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 170, Issue 4, pp 519–525 | Cite as

Haiti earthquake 2010: a field hospital pediatric perspective

  • Alon Farfel
  • Amit AssaEmail author
  • Itzhac Amir
  • Tarif Bader
  • Carmi Bartal
  • Yitshak Kreiss
  • Ram Sagi
Original Paper

Abstract

On January 12 2010, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti. The region had suffered an estimated 316,000 fatalities with approximately 300,000 injured and more than 1 million people who lost their houses. Following the quake, the Israeli Defense Force Medical Corps dispatched a field hospital unit to the capital city, Port au Prince. The hospital had a pediatric division which included pediatric emergency department, pediatric ward and neonatal unit. We elaborate on the various aspects of pediatric treatment that was provided by our hospital. A total of 363 pediatric patients (younger than 18 years) were admitted to our facility during its 10 days of operation. Out of this total, 272 pediatric patients were treated by the pediatric division, 79 (29%) were hospitalized and 57 (21%) required surgery. The pediatric team included seven pediatricians, one pediatric surgeon and six registered nurses. An electronic record and a hard copy file were created for each patient. Fifty-seven percent of the children presented with direct earthquake related injuries. Twelve patients required resuscitation and stabilization and three patients had died. The majority of injuries were orthopedic while infectious diseases accounted for most of the general pediatric diagnoses. In conclusion, operating a field hospital for a population affected by natural disaster is a complex mission. However, pediatric care has its own unique, challenging characteristics.

Keywords

Earthquake Field hospital Pediatric emergency department Disaster medicine 

Notes

Acknowledgement

We wish to thank Dorit Tzur and Estella Derazne for their help in analyzing the data.

Conflict of interest

The authors assume full authorship of this manuscript. We have no conflict of interests to declare, nor did we receive any financial support for this study.

References

  1. 1.
    Bar-Dayan Y, Leiba A, Beard P et al (2005) A multidisciplinary field hospital as a substitute for medical hospital care in the aftermath of an earthquake: the experience of the Israeli Defense Forces Field Hospital in Duzce, Turkey, 1999. Prehosp Disaster Med 20:103–106PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bulut M, Fedakar R, Akkose S et al (2005) Medical experience of a university hospital in Turkey after the 1999 Marmara earthquake. Emerg Med J 22:494–498PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Emmanuel Tronc. From one emergency to the next—Haiti earthquake—One month on, Policy & Advocacy Coordinator, Médecins Sans Frontières, Haiti, 13/2/10Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Guha-Sapir D, van Panhuis WG (2009) Health impact of the 2004 Andaman Nicobar earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia. Prehosp Disaster Med 24:493–499PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Guha-Sapir D, Van-Panhuis WG, Lagoutte J (2007) Patterns of chronic and acute diseases after natural disasters—a study from the International Committee of Red Cross field hospital in Banda Aceh after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Trop Med Int health 12:1338–4113PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Jain V, Noponen R, Smith BM (2003) Pediatric surgical emergencies in the setting of a natural disaster: experiences from the 2001 earthquake in Guarat, India. J Pediatr Surg 38:663–667PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kreiss Y, Merin O, Peleg K et al (2010) Early disaster response in Haiti: the Israeli field hospital experience. Ann Intern Med 153:45–48PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Levy G, Blumberg N, Kreiss Y et al (2010) Application of information technology within a field hospital deployment following the January 2010 Haiti earthquake disaster. J Am Med Inform Assoc 17:626–630PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Lichtenberger P, Miskin IN, Dickinson G et al (2010) Infection control in field hospital after a natural disaster: lessons learned after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 31:951–957PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Merin O, Ash N, Levy G et al (2010) The Israeli field hospital in Haiti—ethical dilemmas in early disaster response. N Engl J Med 362:e38PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Noji EK, Kelen GD, Armenian HK et al (1990) The 1988 earthquake in Soviet Armenia: a case study. Ann Emerg Med 19:891–897PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Redwood-Campbell LJ, Riddez L (2006) Post tsunami medical care: health problems encountered in the International Committee of Red Cross hospital in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Prehosp Disaster Med 21:S1–S7PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Schultz CH, Koenig KL, Noji EK (1996) A medical disaster response to reduce immediate mortality after an earthquake. N Engl J Med 334:438–444PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Tanaka K (1996) The Kobe earthquake: the system response. A disaster report from Japan. Eur J Emerg Med 3:263–269PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Weiner DL, Manzi SF, Waltzman ML et al (2006) The national disaster medical system response: a pediatric perspective. Pediatrics 117:S405–S411PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    World Health organization (WHO), Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) (2007) Health in the Americas, 2007th edn. WHO/PAHO, Washington, DC, 413Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Xiang B, Cheng W, Liu J et al (2009) Triage of pediatric injuries after the 2008 Wen-Chuan earthquake in China. J Pediatr Surg 44:2273–2277PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    (2011) Post-Earthquake injuries treated at a field hospital—Haiti, 2010. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 59:1673–1677Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alon Farfel
    • 1
  • Amit Assa
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Itzhac Amir
    • 1
  • Tarif Bader
    • 1
  • Carmi Bartal
    • 3
  • Yitshak Kreiss
    • 1
  • Ram Sagi
    • 1
  1. 1.Israel Defense Forces Medical CorpsTel HashomerIsrael
  2. 2.Pediatric DivisionAssaf Harofeh Medical CenterZerifinIsrael
  3. 3.Emergency Medicine DepartmentSoroka Medical CenterBeer ShebaIsrael

Personalised recommendations