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Reports from Spinal Cord Injury Patients- Eight Months after the 2003 Earthquake in Bam, Iran

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American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. 86(11):912-917, November 2007.
Raissi, Gholam Reza MD; Mokhtari, Aliakbar PT; Mansouri, Kourosh MD

Abstract: Raissi GR, Mokhtari A, Mansouri K: Reports from spinal cord injury patients: eight months after the 2003 earthquake in Bam, Iran. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2007;86:912-917.

Objective: The World Health Organization defines disaster as a sudden ecologic phenomenon of sufficient magnitude to require external assistance. On December 26, 2003, the Bam earthquake left more than 200 spinal cord injury (SCI) patients. Our study of these SCI patients and the rehabilitation of disabled persons in Bam may assist in the organization of rehabilitation programs during future disasters.

Design: Eight months after the disaster, we planned to visit the SCI patients in Bam. We visited 61 patients in Bam, Baravat, and surrounding villages. We completed a questionnaire during our visit.

Results: The patients’ mean age was 31.9 +/- 9.6 yrs. Twenty-nine (53.7%) patients were female, and 25 (46.3%) were male. Fifty-two (96.3%) patients had pain syndromes, which had started from 3 days to 8 mos after injury. Thirty-three (61%) patients used clean intermittent catheterization, and 29 (53.7%) did not have bowel programs. Nineteen (35.2%) patients had pressure sores.

Conclusions: All aspects of disasters should be considered seriously by all countries. The special needs of people with disabilities during and long after any disaster are important. The impact of disasters on disabled people is magnified because of their condition, so special attention must be paid to this group.

(C) 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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