As efforts continue to rescue our citizens trapped under the rubble during the earthquakes that occurred on Monday, February 6, and affected 10 of our provinces, an important warning came to those who were rescued. Head of Emergency Medicine Prof. Dr. Başar Cander drew attention to two very important health problems that our citizens rescued alive from the rubble may experience. Prof Dr Cander said these issues are the traumas that can arise from being crushed under the rubble and the associated Crush Syndrome and hypothermia that can develop due to wintry conditions.
Describing the disaster as ‘the disaster of the century’ and saying: “We have not yet been able to grasp the magnitude of the disaster. This is also reflected in the number of deaths and injuries. The numbers are increasing and unfortunately they will continue to increase,” he said. Prof. Dr. Cander continued:
“The first thing medical teams should look for in people coming out of the wreckage is trauma. This should be managed according to trauma rules. For example, it should be gradually removed from the damaged debris by working very thinly. First of all, the area should be expanded, because most likely it will be in a narrow area. The wounded cannot be withdrawn at once. It must be removed in a certain position. Otherwise you will do the injured party more harm than good. Therefore, these operations should be carried out by professional and trained people as much as possible.
‘Crush Syndrome’ can develop
Underlining that as the process continues, the phenomenon called “Crush Syndrome” can develop due to the mixing of muscle enzymes in the blood in cases of trauma. Dr Cander said: “Therefore, if conditions are appropriate, treatment should be started under the rubble. For example, if it is possible to reach a limb, such as the injured person’s arm, it may be vital that an IV line is opened immediately and the serum is tied off. Because it can take hours to get the injured out of the wreckage. This way we increase the chances of survival. Then, when the environment has been created in which the injured can be removed, the injured have to are removed in a suitable position by attaching a neck collar and protecting the hip area, and they must be removed from the wreckage using the quad transport method, which we call ‘timber transport’.
prof. Dr Cander added: “For this reason, the health centers to which the wounded rescued from the wreck are transferred must be organized accordingly. For example, dialysis machines must be on standby.”
Noting that Crush syndrome can also cause an increase in potassium in the blood, Prof. Dr. Cander stressed that this situation can also lead to sudden cardiac arrests.
Second risk of hypothermia
Recalling that the second greatest risk for injured people after the earthquake in winter conditions is “hypothermia”, Prof. Dr. Başar Cander said: “As you know, hypothermia is a picture that arises due to an excessive drop in body temperature . If action is not taken in time, the patient can die as a result of cardiac arrest, as a result of fatal cardiac arrhythmias, referred to in the literature as ‘ventricular fibrillation’, and an excessive drop in temperature. This is the painting popularly called “freezing death.”
Therefore, it is vital to supply the room where the injured person is with warm air and immediately wrap the injured person in a special blanket. If the victim is conscious; If we are sure that there is no problem in terms of trauma, open wound and internal bleeding, hot or warm drinks can be given little by little. This helps raise the victim’s body temperature. However, if consciousness is unconscious and trauma, internal bleeding is suspected, this procedure can be dangerous. In this case it would be beneficial if the serum to be administered through the opened vascular access is warm.”