Daunting medical issues for earthquake survivors are just beginning

Source: Washington Post

As international medical teams stream into the earthquake-ravaged areas of Turkey and Syria, the injuries they are encountering are horrific but no surprise: broken bones, arms and legs crushed by collapsed buildings, infected gashes.

But that’s only the beginning for doctors and paramedics working feverishly to save lives in a disaster that has already claimed more than 20,000 people, experts say.

In coming weeks, as search efforts turn to the grim task of recovering bodies, countless survivors will need medications for high blood pressure, diabetes and asthma left behind in the rubble. Pregnant women will give birth in makeshift shelters and refugee camps. Cancer patients will go without treatment.

Freezing temperatures mean survivors in thrown-together shelters face hypothermia or frostbite. Close quarters in shelters could also lead to the spread of the coronavirus and other respiratory viruses.


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