An Earthquake Disaster in Turkey: Assessment of the Need for Plastic Surgery Services in a Crisis Intervention Field Hospital

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On August 17, 1999, an earthquake of 7.4 magnitude struck Turkey, resulting in the destruction of the cities Golcuk, Izmit, Adapazari, and Yalova. Three days later, the Israel Defense Force Field Hospital arrived at Adapazari, serving as a reinforcement hospital until the rehabilitation of the local medical facilities. Surgical services in the field hospital were supplied by general, orthopedic, and plastic surgeons. The authors evaluated all soft-tissue injuries managed at the hospital and assessed the need for plastic surgery services in a crisis intervention field hospital. Information was gathered regarding soft-tissue injuries throughout the activity of the hospital. In addition, patients' charts, operations' reports, and entry and evacuation logs were reviewed for all patients accepted and treated in the field hospital. Interviews of patients, local physicians, and citizens of Adapazari were performed to evaluate the medical situation in the first 3 days after the earthquake. A total of 1205 patients were treated by the field hospital in Adapazari; 138 (11.45 percent) of these patients sought aid for isolated soft-tissue injuries, 105 of which (76.09 percent) were earthquake-related. Twenty (51.28 percent) of the operations performed in the hospital were to treat soft-tissue injuries; 1.49 percent of all patients underwent minor surgical manipulations by the plastic surgeon on staff. Plastic surgery patients occupied 13.6 percent of the hospital beds. In conclusion, the authors find it beneficial to supply plastic surgery services at a field hospital in an earthquake situation. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 107: 163, 2001.)

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