top of page


The true superheroes in times of tragedy :

As you probably already know, recent earthquakes in Turkey and Syria resulted in a significant number of fatalities as well as numerous injuries. Today we'll read about how doctors are the true Avengers during such catastrophes.

Each year, millions of people worldwide are impacted by natural disasters. According to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, a disaster is an occurrence that negatively affects 100 or more people, results in 10 or more fatalities, or results in a request for outside assistance.

The extent of casualties is influenced by proximity to the "whole impact zone" of a disaster, such as the earthquake epicenter. The "filtration zone," where patients from the immediately damaged area seek sanctuary, the "marginal impact zone," which may have some destruction, and the "total impact zone," where medical personnel must be ready to provide care. Following is the visual representation of the earthquake impact zone in the increasing order of its severity.

Disaster victims present in three stages: the first, second, and third. The first stage usually has mild physical injuries, while the second stage may contain critically ill patients. The third phase includes patients who eventually present for care of untreated acute or chronic medical conditions. Disasters can increase primary health care use for 12 months or more. Following is a triage system designed to save the wounded in order of the severity of their injuries.

The most crucial information is that posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) cannot be identified right away after a catastrophe, and that symptoms may be typical for up to a month afterward. The Department of Veterans Affairs has a screening tool, and the IASC Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychological Support in Emergency Settings are a thorough resource for treating PTSD patients. Women, those with a history of psychiatric issues, people who were indoors during the incident, and people who moved into temporary housing are among the groups more susceptible to developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following an earthquake (tents). The treatment of PTSD needs to take precedence.

The doctor's job is to help the patient reduce their sense of helplessness as victims and get back to their normal routine before the calamity. In many cases, a communal atmosphere is preferable to an office for doing this. Techniques for relaxation, establishing appropriate coping mechanisms, and healthy grieving should all be emphasized in counseling. Building rapport with individuals who could later acquire PTSD and need additional therapy happens in the early stages of disaster response.

In the medical setting, having clinicians on hand to respond to an immediate crisis is a crucial component of emergency management. It is difficult to envision how a health care system might prepare for or react to a significant inflow of patients (a "surge") without a supply of professionals who are available to care for patients. With around 60% of physicians saying they would respond to different catastrophes, doctors are generally quite willing to respond to an acute disaster to care for patients. What were the reasons a doctor would not or could not respond? It should come as no surprise that worry for one's family was the most often cited factor in a physician's decision to respond to a crisis. This response was the same across the nation and amongst residents and faculty. Prior research and discussions with other healthcare professionals have recognised the significance of family responsibilities. These results imply that doctors may be more responsive and willing to assist others if they are confident that their families are secure.

Due to their expertise in adult and pediatric medicine, minor surgery, nonoperative orthopedics, mental health, and obstetrics, family doctors are ideally equipped to respond to disasters. The American Medical Association (AMA) has created a National Disaster Life Support course, and Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) courses are required curriculum for residency programmes. Doctors Without Borders (MSWB) and the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) both welcome participation from physicians at all training levels. Health care providers with prior relief experience are more likely to be chosen by relief organizations.

Threats from natural disasters are frequent both domestically and overseas. At every level of the catastrophe recovery process, medical assistance will still be necessary. With their extensive medical expertise, family doctors are well suited to offer a special combination of whole person care to the wide range of patients in the wake of an earthquake. In times of such immense human need, I hope to continue preparing and helping.


Hope you found this blog interesting. Make sure you checkout our previous ones too!

If doctors really had superpowers, which specialty according to you would be the face of the team?

Let us know in the comment section ⬇️⬇️

Further reading:

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page