Hemorrhagic Ulcers after Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami: Features of Post-Disaster Hemorrhagic Ulcers

Division of Gastroenterology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan.
Digestion (Impact Factor: 2.1). 01/2013; 87(1):40-6. DOI: 10.1159/000343937
Source: PubMed


We investigated the characteristic features and treatment of hemorrhagic peptic ulcers after the Great East Japan Earthquake, which occurred on 11 March 2011.

Clinical data of patients with hemorrhagic peptic ulcers were retrospectively collected during the 3 months after the earthquake from seven major hospitals in the middle of the stricken area, and were compared with those during the same period of the previous year.

After the earthquake, the number of hemorrhagic ulcers increased 2.2 fold as compared with the previous year, and gastric ulcers were significantly more frequent compared with duodenal ulcers (p < 0.05) and more often presented multiple forms (p < 0.05). Nonetheless, the proportion of re-bleeding cases after hemostasis treatment (8% in 2010 vs. 5% in 2011) or total mortality rate (2.5% in 2010 vs. 1.2% in 2011) was rather lower after the earthquake compared with that of the previous year.

We clarified that post-disaster hemorrhagic ulcers existed frequently in the stomach, often as multiple ulcers at the same time. The Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami caused many cases of hemorrhagic ulcer. However, because of the high success rate of endoscopic hemostasis, the mortality remained as low as in the previous year. Our present study provides important information for large-scale disasters which can occur anywhere.

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