Global & Disaster Medicine

Refugee Research: Clinical characteristics of asylum seekers arriving in Brussels


van Berlaer G, Bohle Carbonell F, Manantsoa S, et al. A refugee camp in the centre of Europe: clinical characteristics of asylum seekers arriving in Brussels. BMJ Open 2016;6:e013963. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2016013963

“…..Of 4037 patients examined in the field hospital, 3907 were included and analysed for this study. Over 11% of patients suffered from injuries, but these were outnumbered by the proportion of patients with respiratory (36%), dental (9%), skin (9%) and digestive (8%) diagnoses. More than 49% had features of infections at the time of the consultation.

Conclusions: Asylum seekers arriving in a refugee camp in Brussels after a long and hazardous journey suffer mostly from respiratory, dental, skin and digestive diseases. Still, one in seven suffers from injury. These findings, consistent with other reports, should be anticipated when composing emergency medical teams and interagency emergency health or similar kits to be used in a field hospital, even in a Western European country. ….”

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