Challenges for rear hospital care of Wenchuan earthquake casualties: experience from West China Hospital

Chin J Traumatol. 2010 Jun 1;13(3):131-6.


To review the challenges and countermeasures in the hospital care for Wenchuan earthquake casualties and draw lessons for the protective response in the future. Medical records and laboratory findings of the victims admitted in West China Hospital (WCH) were retrospectively analyzed. Related data were compared between beforemath and aftermath of the earthquake and between WCH and frontier county hospitals. One thousand and thirty-one earthquake survivors were hospitalized, 1 358 victims underwent surgery and 142 victims were transferred to intensive care unit. The incidence of infection, crush syndrome and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) was 39.6%, 20.7% and 2.3% respectively. Wound classification showed that the incidence of extremity damage was 72%, while the incidence of chest trauma, abdominal trauma and brain trauma was less than 10% respectively. Isolating rates of environmental pathogens were increased in the aftermath of earthquake, and the spectrum of the pathogens and related antibiotic sensitivities were quite different from those in the beforemath of earthquake. The social economic and population conditions in the earthquake-stricken areas affected the composition of the victims and the geographic features restricted the efficiency of rescue. Trauma-induced MODS, crush syndrome and severe infections all constituted the dilemma for the hospital care, to resolve whether the multidiscipline team work was proved to be an optimizing choice. For a more effective disaster protective response in the future, the study on rescue plan and the ladder therapies for massive casualties should be potentiated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bacterial Infections / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • China / epidemiology
  • Communicable Disease Control
  • Crush Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Earthquakes*
  • Female
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Organ Failure / epidemiology
  • Rescue Work
  • Young Adult