Results A total of 91 inpatients from 13 hospitals were identified. Tsunami victims comprised 73% of the patients with hypothermia. Within 24 hours of the earthquake, 66 patients were admitted. Most patients with a temperature of 32°C or higher were treated with passive external rewarming with blankets. Discharge without sequelae was reported for 83.3% of patients admitted within 24 hours of the earthquake and 44.0% of those admitted from 24 to 72 hours after the earthquake. Heating systems were restored within 3 days of the earthquake at 43% of the hospitals.
Conclusions Hypothermia in patients hospitalized within 72 hours of the earthquake was primarily due to cold-water exposure during the tsunami. Many patients were successfully treated in spite of the post-earthquake disruption of regional social infrastructure.
Objective: A survey was conducted to describe the characteristics of patients treated for hypothermia after the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Methods: Written questionnaires were distributed to 72 emergency medical hospitals in Miyagi Prefecture. Data were requested regarding inpatients with a temperature less than 36°C admitted within 72 hours after the earthquake. The availability of functional heating systems and the time required to restore heating after the earthquake were also documented.
- the Great East Japan Earthquake
- tsunami disaster
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health