Clinical Profile of Thorax and Lung Injuries Associated with the 2011 Van Earthquake in Turkey

Sevilgen G.

Eur J Gen Med, vol.10, no.2, pp.69-73, 2013 (Scopus)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 10 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Journal Name: Eur J Gen Med
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.69-73
  • Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University Affiliated: No


The 7.2 and 5.6 magnitude earthquake that struck Turkey on October 23 and November 9, 2011, was one of the deadliest earthquakes in recent decade. Our aim is to determine the clinical profile of crush thoracic traumas resulting from the massive Van earthquake. A retrospective review was undertaken of 39 intervention for chest traumas. Sex distrubition was 21 female and 18 male patients. Thoracic cage, pulmonary parenchyma, and pleura traumas were included in the study. Among the total of 425 hospitalized patients, 39 (9.1%) were thorax and lung injuries. Pneumothorax and rib fractures were the two most frequent pathologies. There were pneumothorax or hemothorax in 31 (79%) patients, bronch ruptures in 2 (5.1%) patients, diaphragmatic ruptures in 2 (5.1%) patients, flail chest in 2 (5.1%) patients and sternal fracture was detected in 2 (5.1%) patients. Totally, 76 ribs fractures were found in 27 (69%) patients, There were 36 (92%) patients with pulmonary parenchymal injuries and 31 (79%) with pleural injuries. Thoracotomy was performed in 4 (10%) patients, while 37 (95%) patients underwent tube thoracostomy. Carinal reconstruction was performed in a patient with bronchus and trachea injuries. Four patients (10%) with severe trauma developed Acute Respiratory Distres Syndrome (ARDS) and two of them died because of developing ARDS. After the patients are admitted to the hospital, we should use an individualized treatment according to the patients recent clinical history and examination. At the same time, traumatic chest injury should be considered in planning the medical response strategies.