Medical Aspects of the Gorkha Earthquake 2015: Disaster Preparedness and Response
This chapter includes exemplary accounts from two medical doctors pertaining to the situation in the capital and in remote valleys. Within both accounts, the authors describe their personal experience, beginning with the first few hours post the initial quake. These experiences are firsthand accounts, ranging from uncoordinated medical aid in a governmental hospital in Kathmandu and a mountain hospital in Lukla to the ad hoc rescue chain in the Khumbu valley for those victims coming predominantly from Everest Base Camp. Unfortunately, the threat of future earthquakes and other natural hazard events in Nepal cannot be diminished. Therefore, in order to better manage any future mass casualty event, it is clear that there is a pressing need for further development of medical and rescue training services for both existing practitioners in the capital and those individuals based in rural Nepal. Moreover, the development of an international, coordinative body with rapid response time and specialist skill base must be discussed and deployed effectively in the case of any future national emergency.
KeywordsEarthquake Disaster preparedness Disaster response Emergency medicine Himalaya
Monika Brodmann Maeder wants to thank all the healthcare professionals in Lukla who volunteered during the evacuation of victims to Kathmandu in Lukla airport on April 26, 2015. Our special thanks go to Rachel Turner, researcher at EURAC Institute of Mountain Emergency Medicine, Bolzano, for reviewing the manuscript.
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