Emergency Response to Earthquake in Chile: Experience of a Cuban Field Hospital

MEDICC Rev. 2015 Jul;17(3):39-42.


This paper presents the author's experiences in deploying and later establishing a Cuban field hospital in response to the major earthquake that struck Chile in February 2010. It also reveals the initial difficulties the medical team faced and how collaboration with local social, medical and military partners contributed to response efficiency, and highlights the importance of Cuba's international health cooperation, especially in emergency situations. Over 254 days, Cuban health professionals had 50,048 patient encounters (outpatient visits and hospitalizations), a daily average of 197. They performed 1778 surgeries (1427 major, 80.2% of total) and accumulated valuable experience in managing a field hospital in a disaster situation. KEYWORDS Earthquake, humanitarian aid, health care, emergency response, disaster medicine, logistics, Chile, Cuba.

MeSH terms

  • Altruism*
  • Chile / epidemiology
  • Cuba
  • Earthquakes*
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation
  • Mobile Health Units*
  • Relief Work*