Acta Orthopaedica et Traumatologica Turcica
Research Articles

The initial response of a local hospital in the earthquake zone during the February 6, 2023 Kahramanmaraş earthquakes: Injuries and challenges


Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, İnönü University, Malatya, Turkey


Department of Emergency Medicine, İnönü University, Malatya, Turkey


Department of Anesthesiology and Reanimation, İnönü University, Malatya, Turkey


Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Yeşilyurt Hasan Çalık State Hospital, Malatya, Turkey

AOTT 2023; 57: 315-321
DOI: 10.5152/j.aott.2023.23138
Read: 449 Downloads: 191 Published: 05 January 2024

Objective: This study aimed to describe the type and number of traumatic injuries seen after devastating earthquakes and to evaluate the difficulties experienced in the treatment process in a primary affected center.

Methods: Out of the 2176 patients who were treated in the emergency department, 372 (199 male and 173 female) patients with complete data were included in this single-center retrospective study. In addition to the demographic characteristics of the patients, orthopedic injuries, other organ system injuries, type of injury, treatments, mechanisms of injury, and time of presentation to the emergency department were recorded.

Results: The most common age group for injury was 20-30 years old, consisting of 73 patients (19.62%), and the second most common age group was between 40 and 50, with 72 patients (19.35%). Injury after being trapped under rubble was seen in 152 (40.86%) patients, while non-debris causes were more common in 220 patients (59.14%). The most common site of injury was in the lower extremities, with 111 patients (29.84%), while multiple injuries were seen in 109 patients (29.3%). Lower extremity fractures were mostly seen in long bones such as the femur (12.28%) and tibia (11.4%). Upper extremity fractures, especially those due to falls, were most frequently in the distal radius (8.77%). After triage, 117 patients (31.45%) were hospitalized, whereas the majority of patients (58.33%) were discharged from the emergency department.

Conclusion: This study has shown us that injuries following major earthquakes are of a wide spectrum and occur in large numbers and in a very short time. Even in a well-equipped hospital that is not affected by an earthquake, there are many barriers to appropriate management. The first 24 hours after an earthquake are critical. This period should be kept in mind while organizing and taking necessary precautions, and early responses to earthquakes should be meticulously planned.

Cite this article as: Köroğlu M, Karakaplan M, Ergen E, et al. The initial response of a local hospital in the earthquake zone during the February 6, 2023 Kahramanmaraş earthquakes: Injuries and challenges. Acta Orthop Traumatol Turc., 2023;57(6):315-321.

ISSN 1017-995X EISSN 2589-1294