Ophthalmologic Examinations in Areas of Miyagi Prefecture Affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake

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Abstract

IMPORTANCE

One month after the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, our clinic was granted free use of the Mission Vision Van, a customized bus airlifted to Japan. This mobile eye clinic made it possible for us to provide ophthalmologic examinations anywhere in the disaster zone in Miyagi Prefecture.

OBSERVATIONS

This study included 731 patients who received treatment in the eye care van in Miyagi Prefecture between April 15 and May 29, 2011. We examined and cared for patients during 25 visits to 11 emergency districts during 15 clinic days. Of the 914 diagnoses we identified, 358 were refractive disorders (39.2%), which were the most common ocular diseases we observed; others included 155 (17.0%) cataracts, 106 (11.6%) dry eye, and 73 (8.0%) infectious diseases, such as conjunctivitis. Overall, we provided emergency prescriptions for 871 bottles of eyedrops comprising 222 prescriptions (25.5%) for dry eye, 189 (21.7%) for cataracts, and 107 (12.3%) for glaucoma.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE

A substantial number of patients in the earthquake-damaged areas needed replacements for eyeglasses, contact lenses, and eyedrops. The mobile clinic appears to be a useful way to provide ophthalmologic examinations and support after a disaster.

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