Characteristics of earthquake-related injuries treated in emergency departments following the 2001 Nisqually earthquake in Washington

Megumi Kano, MPH


The Nisqually earthquake (M 6.8) struck western Washington State at 10:55 aM local time on Wed nesday, February 28, 2001. This study provides a detailed description of injuries attributable to this earthquake, which were treated in local emergency departments (EDs). ED logs and medical records from four facilities in the earthquake-affected region were reviewed. Ninety-six earthquake-related injuries were treated during the week following the earthquake, comprising 8.6 percent of all injuries treated during that period. EDs closer to the epicenter treated more earthquakerelated injuries. The patients were slightly older and more likely to be female than those with nonearthquake- related injuries. Falls were the most common cause of earthquake-related injuries. Superficial injuries, sprains/strains, and fractures of minor severity accounted for the majority of these cases. The flow of earthquake-related patients peaked within an hour after the earthquake.



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