OBJECTIVE: In 2013, the Philippines was struck by typhoon Haiyan, which damaged local hospitals and disrupted health care. The Belgian First Aid and Support Team erected a field hospital and water purification unit in Palo. This study aims to describe the diagnoses encountered and treatment provided.

METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, medical records of 1267 field hospital patients were reviewed for gender, age, complaints, diagnoses, and management and referral information.

RESULTS: Almost 28% of the patients suffered from injury, but most presented with nonsurgical diseases (64%), particularly of respiratory (31%), dermatological (11%), and digestive (8%) origin. Only 53% presented with disaster-related pathology, and 59% showed signs of infection. Patients needed wound care (47%), pain relief (33%), or antibiotics (29%); 9% needed procedures, 8% needed fluid therapy, and 5% needed psychological support. Children under 5 years of age were more at risk for infections (OR, 18.8; CI, 10.6-33.3) and injuries (OR, 10.3; CI, 6.3-16.8). Males were more prone to injuries than females (OR, 2.1; CI, 1.6-2.6).

CONCLUSIONS: One week after the acute phase of a typhoon, respiratory, dermatological, and digestive problems emerge to the prejudice of trauma. Only 53% of patients presented with disaster-related conditions. Young children are more at risk for injury and infectious diseases. These trends should be anticipated when composing Emergency Medical Teams and medical resources to be sent to disaster sites. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;page 1 of 14).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-278
Number of pages14
JournalDisaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness
Issue number2
Early online date4 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

    Research areas

  • Philippines, disaster, emergency medical team, field hospital, typhoon

ID: 39055749