Objective: On November 8, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) made landfall in the Philippines. The literature characterizing the medical, surgical, and obstetrics burden following typhoons is lacking. This study aimed to improve disaster preparedness by analyzing medical diagnoses presenting to a city district hospital before, during, and after Typhoon Haiyan.
Methods: The assessment of disease burden and trends was based on logbooks from a local hospital and a nongovernmental organization field hospital for the medicine, surgical, and obstetrics wards before, during, and after the typhoon.
Results: The hospital provided no services several days after typhoon impact, but there was an overall increase in patient admissions once the hospital reopened. An increase in gastroenteritis, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and motor vehicle collision-related injuries was seen during the impact phase. A dengue fever outbreak occurred during the post-impact phase. There was a noticeable shift in a greater percentage of emergent surgical cases performed versus elective cases during the impact and post-impact phases.
Conclusion: Overall, several public health measures can prevent the increase in illnesses seen after a disaster. To prepare for the nonfatal burden of disease after a typhoon, health care facilities should increase their resources to accommodate the surge in patient volume.
Keywords: Haiyan; Philippines; disaster preparedness; typhoon.