Global & Disaster Medicine

Archive for the ‘Historical Event’ Category

On the afternoon of May 7, 1915, the British ocean liner Lusitania is torpedoed without warning by a German submarine off the south coast of Ireland. Within 20 minutes, the vessel sank into the Celtic Sea. Of 1,959 passengers and crew, 1,198 people were drowned, including 128 Americans.

5/7/1902: Martinique’s Mount Pele begins the deadliest volcanic eruption of the 20th century.

May 6, 1937: The hydrogen-filled German dirigible Hindenburg burned and crashed in Lakehurst, N.J., killing 36 of the 97 people on board.

4/18/1906: At 5:13 a.m., an earthquake estimated at close to 8.0 on the Richter scale strikes San Francisco, California, killing thousands of people and destroying large segments of the city.

History Channel


4/17/1815: Heavy eruptions of the Tambora volcano in Indonesia killed almost 100,000 people directly and indirectly.

History Channel


4/16/1947: A giant explosion occurs during the loading of fertilizer onto the freighter Grandcamp at a pier in Texas City, Texas causing nearly 600 people to lose their lives and injuring thousands more.

4/15/13: Boston Marathon Bombings killing three spectators and wounding more than 260 other people in attendance

The RMS Titanic, billed as unsinkable, sinks into the icy waters of the North Atlantic after hitting an iceberg on its maiden voyage, killing 1,517 people.

History Channel


At 4 a.m. on March 28, 1979, the worst accident in the history of the U.S. nuclear power industry begins when a pressure valve in the Unit-2 reactor at Three Mile Island fails to close.


About the devastating series of attacks that struck Paris and Saint Denis on the evening of Friday, November 13, at six different locations, with 132 dead so far and more than 250 injured


“….The White Plan has been enshrined in law since 2004 and enables additional means and human resources to be mobilized, nonessential activities to be rescheduled, and additional beds to be opened.


“All the personnel are mobilized, in particular the [Service d’Aide Médicale Urgente] and A&E teams. The necessary staff are called in directly by the hospitals,” the AP-HP stated in a press release Friday evening. All the emergency services of the largest university hospital in France were mobilized. The victims of the attacks were mainly distributed among Saint-Louis Hospital, La Pitié Salpêtrière Hospital, Georges Pompidou European Hospital, Henri Mondor Hospital, Lariboisière Hospital, Saint-Antoine Hospital, Bichat Hospital, and Beaujon Hospital…..

On Saturday, November 14, at least 300 people were being treated in Paris hospitals, with 80 of them being considered absolute emergencies and 177 relative emergencies, plus 43 additional persons — either witnesses or family members.

AP-HP issued the somber warning that “most of the patients are in a state of shock and suffering from various and sometimes multiple injuries, which could require very long-term medical attention.” By late afternoon on Sunday, November 15, about 415 people, or about 100 more than the previous day, had been admitted to the hospitals for psychological shock. Of the 80 absolute emergency cases, 35 had been downgraded, but an additional three had died, raising the death toll from the attacks to 132. Of the 415 persons receiving treatment, 218 were discharged on Sunday evening.

In addition to the medical community, the residents of the Paris area as a whole made a commitment to the medical effort. Although blood reserves were announced by AP-HP as being sufficient on Friday evening, large numbers of the population nonetheless lined up to give blood. The French blood bank noted that “this mobilization needs to be a long-term one: 10,000 blood donations are required every day, and all blood groups are needed.” The Ministry for Health, for its part, stated that the ministry’s health emergency center had been immediately activated, along with the health emergencies preparation and response facility. “Medico-psychological emergency units…were set up on a number of Paris sites, in order to treat the victims and their families,” the ministry added……

Last Friday, in barely 1 hour, the staffing levels had been doubled. The triage system also enabled the injured to be evenly distributed, with the largest hospitals taking several dozens of the injured, which was not a strain on the hospitals. Even if treatment of the injured at the time went smoothly, Dr Prudhomme is concerned that the hospitals could be submerged by those suffering from the psychological shock: “We could see thousands of people suffering from psychological distress, and we do not necessarily have the resources.”…..”


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