Article Text

PDF

131: MORTALITY RISK AMONGST NURSING HOME RESIDENTS EVACUATED AFTER THE FUKUSHIMA NUCLEAR ACCIDENT: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS BETWEEN EVACUEES AND NON-EVCUEES
  1. Shuhei Nomura
  1. Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom

Abstract

Background Considering the health impacts of evacuation is important in disaster planning for elderly populations; however, little is known about evacuation-related mortality risks. We have conducted a retrospective cohort survival study of elderly evacuees including comparative analyses with non-evacuees, following the Fukushima nuclear accident on 11th March 2011.

Objectives To assess associations between evacuation and mortality after the Fukushima nuclear accident.

Methods 1,216 residents from seven nursing homes located 20–40 km from the nuclear plant who were admitted in the five years before the accident joined this study. Demographic and clinical characteristics were obtained from medical records. Evacuation histories were tracked until mid 2013. Main outcome measures are the pre and post disaster relative mortality incidence, and hazard ratios in Cox regression were employed.

Result There was a substantial variation in mortality risks post-disaster across the five evacuated facilities ranging from 0.77 to 2.88. Initial evacuation from the original facility had substantial impact on mortality with hazard ratio of 3.37 (95% CI: 1.66–6.81) against non-evacuation, though subsequent evacuations had no significant mortality risk. No meaningful influence of evacuation distance on mortality was observed.

Conclusion Evacuation may not be the best life-saving strategy for elderly people. Following the Fukushima accident evacuations of some facilities were inevitable because of staff deficiencies and other resource shortages, but at other sites sheltering in situ might have minimized health risk. Also, facility-specific disaster response strategies, including on-site relief and care, may have a strong influence on survival. In a mass displacement disaster, careful planning and coordination with other nursing homes, evacuation sites and government disaster agencies is fundamental to reduce the mortality.

  • SURGERY

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.