FUKUSHIMA Lives on the Line
60Weeks Two–FourChronic Stage of Evacuee CareWe conducted advanced medical aid for evacuees on a wide scale. We divided medical support staff into teams of deep-vein thrombosis, pediatrics, contagion prevention, otolaryngology, ophthalmology, psychiatric health, and evacuation center wellness guidance, among others. Chartering small buses and vans, we circled the prefecture visiting evacuation centers. People in evacuation centers without physicians who came from other prefectures were happy to receive our consultations. At the centers, we collaborated with Japan Medical Association Teams (JMATs) from across the country to listen to patients and provide consultations. In May, we welcomed foreign medical support teams from Jordan and Thailand. We also formed a team mostly comprising members of the Department of Community and Family Medicine and Nagasaki University gave at-home consultations to patients staying indoors within the 30-kilometer zone. The otolaryngology team treated conditions such as pharyngolaryngitis, allergic rhinitis, hemorrhage of the nose, and earwax. Those in facilities with dry air were relieved to see humidifiers. After three weeks, the gasoline supply resumed and we were able to return to our normal lives. On Monday, March 28, outpatient care returned to normal. We were gradually able to perform scheduled surgeries and, after four weeks, we were almost back to providing our usual medical services. To address radiation exposure, we conducted decontamination and emergency medical simulations to prepare for the intake of those working and living in and around the nuclear power plant and exposed to radiation. Our entire university is working to scientifically analyze this unprecedented disaster from a medical standpoint, create a university resilient to disasters, and once again make Fukushima a place where you can peacefully live.Fukushima City is located 60 kilometers from the nuclear power plant and life has returned to normal. I am grateful for all support provided so far. I am eager to continue receiving the greatest form of support: people visiting us in northeastern Japan.“Disaster Medicine during the Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear Accident: A University Hospital on the Front Line”Koichi Omori, Vice President, Fukushima Medical University HospitalFrom: Japan Society for Head and Neck Cancer, “Briefing Session on the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami,” June 9, 2011.