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Keywords:

  • Wenchuan earthquake;
  • Medical rescue;
  • Trans-province transfer

Abstract

Objective A retrospective summary of the planning, organization, and implementation of the trans-province transfer of patients injured in Wenchuan Earthquake with an emphasis on experiences that may be helpful in future emergency rescue and patient transfer.

Methods We collected the daily reports of a patient transfer team attached to the Sichuan Rescue Headquarters from May 12 through May 31, 2008.

Results Under the guidance of policy made by the coordinating group of the Ministry of Health, and with the close cooperation of the railway and airline departments the transferring group transferred 10,373 patients in the period studied. The transfers were from 11 disaster areas, including Chengdu, Mianyang, and Deyang, to 20 cities and provinces, including Chongqing, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang. There were no casualties during transfer, and thus the biggest peacetime government-organized trans-province patient-transfer in China's history achieved success.

Conclusion Trans-province patient transfer is an effective measure to compensate for inadequate medical materials, relieve pressure on medical rescue, and guarantee quality of treatment. In the future, emergency plans for different types of disasters will be established, the information platform will be improved, and transfer procedures will be specified.