Analysis of 2,702 traumatized patients in the 1995 Hanshin-Awaji earthquake

J Trauma. 1997 Sep;43(3):427-32. doi: 10.1097/00005373-199709000-00007.


Background: This study was undertaken to define the factors that affected the final outcome of trauma patients in the Hanshin-Awaji earthquake.

Methods: Medical records of patients admitted to 95 hospitals within or surrounding the affected area during the first 15 days after the quake were reviewed.

Results: There were 2,702 traumatized patients. One-third of the patients were transported to hospitals in the surrounding area and had a mortality rate of 3%. The remainder, who were treated in the affected hospitals, showed a significantly higher mortality rate (8%; p < 0.05). Intensive care was provided for 513 patients, most of whom suffered from crush syndrome or from injuries to vital organs; these patients had a high mortality rate. Patients with other types of injuries had a lower mortality rate.

Conclusion: Crush syndrome and injuries to vital organs were potentially life-threatening. We believe that early transportation of such patients to undamaged hospitals with the ability to provide intensive care would have improved the survival rate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abbreviated Injury Scale
  • Crush Syndrome / mortality
  • Crush Syndrome / therapy
  • Disasters*
  • Emergency Medical Services*
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Multiple Trauma / mortality
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Patient Transfer
  • Transportation of Patients
  • Wounds and Injuries / classification
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / mortality*
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy