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The effects of 17 August Marmara earthquake on patient admittances to our dermatology department

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Abstract

On 17 August 1999 a devastating earthquake with a magnitude of 7.4 on the Richter scale occurred in Marmara region of Turkey and the epicentre of the earthquake was our city. In this study we aimed to determine the influence of a major earthquake on patient admittance's to the outpatient clinic of our dematology department. All the registrations of the outpatient clinic of our dermatology department in a period of 6 months after the earthquake and the same period last year were revised retrospectively and categorized into 15 subgroups. The first 3 months registrations (earthquake group 1) and the second 3 months registrations (earthquake group 2) after the earthquake were compared with those of the same periods in last year, respectively (control group 1 and control group 2). Also the earthquake group 1 was compared with the earthquake group 2. When the results were evaluated, it was seen that the incidence of infections-infestations was significantly higher in the earthquake group 1 when compared with the control group 1. When the earthquake group 2 and the control group 2 were compared with each other regarding the incidences of the skin diseases, no statistically significant difference was found. The incidences of erythematous-squamous skin diseases, pruritus and neurocutaneous dermatoses and eczemas were significantly higher in the earthquake group 2 when compared with the earthquake group 1. On the other hand, the incidences of infections-infestations and dermatoses due to physical factors were significantly lower in the earthquake group 2 when compared with the earthquake group 1. We think that the alteration in the admittance's to outpatient clinic of our dermatology department in the first 3 months after the earthquake is due to the damaged infrastructures and unhygienic life conditions and in the second 3 months is due to psycho-emotional factors related to earthquake.

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