Musculoskeletal injuries and management of victims from collapsed buildings in the 2016 Taiwan earthquake: Experiences in a tertiary medical center

Chun Yi Li, Chih Hao Lin, Chih Wei Chang, Chang Han Chuang, Yu Hsuan Chung, Ming Hsien Hu, Cheng Li Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Previous studies have seldom focused on injury patterns, especially musculoskeletal injuries, caused by building collapse during earthquakes. The aim of this study was to investigate the musculoskeletal injury profiles and management of patients rescued from collapsed buildings in the 2016 Taiwan earthquake. Methods: We conducted a retrospective study using the electronic medical record (EMR) system. We enrolled 31 patients rescued from specific collapsed buildings (the WJ group) and 56 patients injured in the same earthquake as a control group. We investigated the admission history, injury profile, treatment, and outcomes for these patients. Results: The WJ group (51%) had significantly higher admission rates compared to the control group (25%) (p = 0.012). Although the odds ratio (OR) of fracture incidence was lower in the WJ group (OR: 0.79), there was a higher OR of multiple fractures (OR: 2.617) and axial skeletal fractures (OR: 2.893 for vertebral fracture, and OR: 1.893 ribs for rib fractures) in the WJ group. Among the 28 fracture patients, 9 (32.1%) underwent surgical interventions. A higher incidence of rhabdomyolysis was noted in the WJ group (OR: 34.73). Also, all 5 rhabdomyolysis cases combined with acute kidney injury were in the WJ group, and 1 of them required emergent hemodialysis for severe hyperkalemia. Conclusion: Patients extricated from collapsed buildings have a higher incidence of multiple fractures and axial skeletal fractures. More severe soft tissue injuries, including rhabdomyolysis and compartment syndrome, were also identified. The medical system should develop rescue and treatment strategies for this rare situation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3334-3339
Number of pages6
JournalInjury
Volume52
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Nov

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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