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Title: Responding to Major Burn Disasters in Resource-Limited Settings: Lessons Learned From an Oil Tanker Explosion in Nakuru, Kenya.
Authors: van Kooij, Eline
Schrever, Inge
Kizito, Walter
Hennaux, Martine
Mugenya, George
Otieno, Elvis
Trelles, Miguel
Ford, Nathan P
Chu, Kathryn M
Affiliation: From the Médecins Sans Frontières-Kenya (E.K., I.S., W.K., M.H., E.O.), Nairobi, Kenya; Médecins Sans Frontières-Belgium (M.T.), Medical Department, Gynecology, Anaesthesia, and Surgery Unit, Brussels, Belgium; Nakuru Provincial General Hospital (G.M.), Department of Surgery, Nakuru, Kenya; Médecins Sans Frontières - South Africa (N.P.F., K.M.C.), Medical Unit, Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa; Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Research (N.P.F.), University of Cape Town, Cape Town, Republic of South Africa; and Departments of Surgery and International Health (K.M.C.), Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland.
Citation: Responding to Major Burn Disasters in Resource-Limited Settings: Lessons Learned From an Oil Tanker Explosion in Nakuru, Kenya. 2011:notJ Trauma
Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Journal: The Journal of Trauma
Issue Date: 17-Feb-2011
DOI: 10.1097/TA.0b013e3181febc8f
PubMed ID: 21336193
Abstract: BACKGROUND:: On January 31, 2009, a fuel tanker exploded in rural Kenya, killing and injuring hundreds of people. This article describes the care of >80 burn victims at a rural hospital in Kenya, Nakuru Provincial General Hospital, and provides lessons for care of a large number of burned patients in a resource-limited setting. METHODS:: Data were obtained from retrospective review from hospital registers and patient files. RESULTS:: Treatment was provided for 89 victims. Eighty-six (97%) were men; median age was 25 years (interquartile range [IQR], 19-32). Half of the patients (45) died, the majority (31, 69%) within the first week. The median total body surface area burned for those who died was 80% (IQR, 60-90%) compared with 28% (IQR, 15-43%) for those who survived (p < 0.001). Twenty patients were transfused a total of 73 units of blood including one patient who received 9 units. Eighty surgical interventions were performed on 31 patients and included 39 split-thickness skin grafts, 21 debridements, 7 escharotomies, 6 dressing changes, 4 contracture releases, and 3 finger amputations. Of the 44 survivors, 39 (89%) were discharged within 4 months of the event. CONCLUSIONS:: Mortality after mass burn disasters is high in Africa. In areas where referral to tertiary centers is not possible, district hospitals should have mass disaster plans that involve collaboration with other organizations to augment medical and psychologic services. Even for patients who do not survive, compassionate care with analgesics can be given.
Language: en
ISSN: 1529-8809
Rights: Archived with thanks to The Journal of Trauma and Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Appears in topics: Emergencies/refugees

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