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Special Article
April 11, 2011

Crush Syndrome: Saving More Lives in DisastersLessons Learned From the Early-Response Phase in Haiti

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Israel Defense Forces Medical Corps Field Hospital, Israel (Drs Bartal, Miskin, Kreiss, Sebbag, Karp, Grossman, Engel, Carter, and Zeller); Departments of Emergency Medicine (Dr Bartal), Internal Medicine (Drs Zeller and Karp), and Surgery (Drs Sebbag), Soroka University Medical Center, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Be’er Sheva, Israel; and Department of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Clalit Health Services, Jerusalem District, Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel (Dr Miskin).

Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(7):694-696. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.122

The Israel Defense Forces Medical Corps Field Hospital was fully operational 89 hours after the Haiti earthquake in January 2010. In earthquake scenarios, crush injuries are a major cause of death. The incidence of crush syndrome can be as high as 25% in earthquake victims. Acute renal failure (ARF), a complication of crush syndrome that is commonly encountered in the first days following earthquakes, has an excellent outcome when renal replacement treatment (RRT) is available.1 The incidence of ARF related to crush syndrome depends on the intensity of the earthquake and the amount of time spent under rubble, and ranges from 0.5% to 25%. More than half of those with renal failure will require RRT.2

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