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Keywords:

  • Wenchuan earthquake;
  • Medical rescue

Abstract

Objective: To provide references for production and dissemination of evidence in the fields of medical emergency management, treatment, and prevention of epidemics after May 2008 Wenchuan earthquake by systematically reviewing, analyzing, and comparing quake related papers in medical journals.

Methods: We systematically searched MEDLINE and CBM (Chinese Biomedical Literature) databases (range: from inception to Sept. 2009). Quake related papers were imported into EndNote software, checked for duplication, and categorized by predefined standards. Descriptive statistical analysis was performed by SPSS 13.0.

Results: There were relatively fewer quake related articles globally before the occurrence of the Wenchuan earthquake, and the quantity of papers in MEDLINE was four times than that in CBM. In contrast, the quantity of Chinese quake articles increased rapidly after Wenchuan earthquake, peaking in Aug. 2008 at 6.9 times the average during the 50 years before the quake. The quake related papers in CBM appeared in 378 journals covering a diverse range of subject matter. Meanwhile, there was little change in the quantity of quake related articles in MEDLINE database.

Conclusions: The effort of producing and disseminating Wenchuan earthquake related medical research has been effectively organized and conducted in a scientific and timely manner, producing the largest in number of quake related medical papers in human history. It has provided first-hand guidance for disaster medical relief around the globe. We should strengthen the systematic construction of disaster medicine, and make an effort to summarize and disseminate evidence in the fields of rehabilitation, system reestablishment, and prevention of epidemics.