Pediatric Surgery International

, Volume 29, Issue 10, pp 1047–1051 | Cite as

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

  • Takeo YonekuraEmail author
  • Shigeru Ueno
  • Tadashi Iwanaka
Review Article


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.


Earthquake Tsunami Nuclear accident Natural disaster Children 



Successive pediatric medical care in Rikuzentakata was carried out through the efforts of Drs. Naoki Shimizu, Osamu Saito, and Koutarou Ichikawa of the Japanese Society of Emergency Pediatrics. The pediatric surgeons Mitsugu Owari, Katsuji Yamauchi, and Takuya Kosumi of Nara Hospital, Kinki University School of Medicine also involved. We are particularly grateful to Dr. and Director Mikihito Ishii and members of Iwate Prefectural Takata Hospital for their hospitality in Rikuzentakata. Finally, we would like to express our sincere appreciation and respect to all the people of the world who prayed for and donated to the victims.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takeo Yonekura
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • 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

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