Rinsho Shinkeigaku (Clinical Neurology)

Symposium 3

One year after the earthquake in Fukushima

Yoshikazu Ugawa, M.D.

Department of Neurology, Fukushima Medical University

I summarize one year experience after the great earthquake in Fukushima as a neurologist and give some proposals to prepare this kind of disaster. The great east Japan earthquake is characterized by its long duration of quake, great Tsunami and nuclear plant accident especially for Fukushima. We used different strategies for treating the patients at four periods after the earthquake. I will briefly describe those in the following parts. Acute period: We acted as one doctor, not neurology specialist, under the conditions with some lacks of life lines. We accepted serious patients from city hospitals in Fukushima. Some of them were transferred to university or large hospitals in other areas when they were not able to be treated in our hospital. The other patients were admitted to our hospital. Many neurologists, self-defense forces officers and people of MHLW helped us in this period. The internet communication played significant roles because of telephone system breakdown. Subacute period: We acted mostly as a neurologist. Serious neurological patients, such as meningoencephalitis, MG crisis, relapse of multiple sclerosis, were admitted to our department. Recovery period: We acted as a neurologist at this period. City doctors consulted us about non-serious neurological patients because of difficulty in coming to our hospital. Ideally, the consultation may be made through internet telephone system. Reconstruction period to the ordinary life: Medical problem solution all depends on the political strategy of how to reconstruct Fukushima.
Full Text of this Article in Japanese PDF (607K)

(CLINICA NEUROL, 52: 1339|1342, 2012)
key words: Earthquake, Fukushima, Nuclear plant, Ventilator

(Received: 25-May-12)