Gases may be formed in containers for inflammable fluids and these may burn explosively if lit. Even apparently empty containers may contain sufficient quantities of gas to result in violent explosions precipitated by procedures which produce heat or sparks in the neighbourhood of the container. Seventeen persons were found to be injured in accidents of this type in a Danish investigation. Two of the accidental injuries proved fatal. The serious risk involved in handling and treating containers which contain or have contained inflammable fluids is, therefore, emphasized.
At the turn of the year 1988/89, injuries caused by home-made fireworks were treated in the orthopaedic-surgical casualty department. Four accidents are described. Construction and use of home-made fireworks are warned against.
Psychological resistance may be of considerable importance in the posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) population, considering that researchers in the field of traumatic stress are frequently unsuccessful in achieving high response rates, that many subjects suffering from PTSD never seek help, and that dropouts from therapy are frequent. This article presents data on the main complaints reported in the acute aftermath of an industrial disaster by 246 employees who had been exposed to the disaster. The dominant concerns were symptomatic complaints related to posttraumatic stress reactions rather than external problems. Sleep disturbance, anxiety/fear responses, and physical symptoms were reported by individuals with complaints in the acute phase as most problematic, while irritability and depressive symptoms appeared very infrequently among the reported main complaints. A high specificity and sensitivity were achieved in predicting later PTSD (as defined by DSM-III criteria) by applying early response variables: thus, there were few false-positives and false-negatives. There was a considerable overlap between the PTSD predictors and the main symptom complaints. From a prevention point of view, this should be advantageous, since it would bring the right people to seek help. However, in a significant proportion of the acutely distressed, the reluctance to seek help was motivated by the very symptoms that predicted PTSD. Even a relatively high rate of subjects agreeing to be screened (82.8%) would have lost 42% of those who qualified for a diagnosis of PTSD, and more than half of the subjects with severe outcomes would not have been included. For primary and secondary prevention, the findings suggest that early screening and outreach should be very active.
The 2004 terror attack on a school in Beslan, North Caucasus, with more than 1300 children and their families taken hostage and 334 people killed, ended after extreme violence. Following the disaster, many survivors with blast ear injuries developed complications because no microsurgery services were available in the region. Here, we present our strategies in North Ossetia to strengthen subspecialty surgical care in a region of instable security conditions. Disaster modifies disease burden in an environment of conflict-related health-care limitations. We built on available secondary care and partnered international with local stakeholders to reach and treat victims of a humanitarian disaster. A strategy of mutual commitment resulted in treatment of all consenting Beslan victims with blast trauma sequelae and of non disaster-related patients. Credible, sustained partnerships and needs assessments beyond the immediate phases after a disaster are essential to facilitate a meaningful transition from humanitarian aid to capacity building exceeding existing insufficient standards. Psychosocial impacts of disaster might constitute a barrier to care and need to be assessed when responding to the burden of surgical disease in conflict or post-conflict settings. Involving local citizen groups in the planning process can be useful to identify and access vulnerable populations. Integration of our strategy into broader efforts might strengthen the local health system through management and leadership.
An explosion in a Danish supertanker under construction in 1994 caused the death of six workers and injured 15. Six months later 270 workers took part in this study, which analyses the relationships between objective stressors, the workers' own feelings and the reactions of their families after the explosion together with training, attitude to the workplace, general out-look, and received crisis help. Traumatisation, coping style and crisis support was assessed via the Impact of Event Scale (IES), the Coping Styles Questionnaire (CSQ) and the Crisis Support Scale (CSS). Emotionally, workers and their families were strongly affected by the explosion. The IES-score was 17.6 and the invasion score 9.1. The degree of traumatisation was higher in the group who had an 'audience position' than in the group who was directly hit by the explosion. Training in rescue work did not protect against adverse effects. Rescue work had a strong impact on the involved. Social support was a significant factor, that seems to buffer negative effects. High level of social integration, effective leadership in the situation, and professional crisis intervention characterised the disaster situation. All the same, 41 per cent of the workers reached the caseness criteria by Horowitz (IES > or = 19).
To assess whether working in an industrial harbor where an oil tank exploded was associated with more airway symptoms and lower lung function in men 1.5 years later.
In a cross-sectional study of 180 men, 18 to 67 years old, airway symptoms and lung function among men who worked in the industrial harbor at the time of the explosion was compared with those of working men with residence more than 20 km away. Regression analyses are adjusted for smoking, occupational exposure, atopy, recent infection, and age.
Exposed men had significantly more upper (ORirritated nose = 2.89 [95% confidence interval = 1.31 to 6.37]) and lower (ORdyspnea uphill = 3.79 [95% confidence interval = 1.69 to 8.46]) airway symptoms, and some indication of more reversible airway obstruction than unexposed workers.
Men working in an area with an oil tank explosion had more airway symptoms and indication of more airway obstruction 1.5 years after the event.
Oil tanks containing a mixture of hydrocarbons, including sulphuric compounds, exploded and caught fire in an industrial harbour. This study assesses airway symptoms and lung function in the nearby population 1½ years after the explosion.
A cross-sectional study included individuals =18 years old. Individuals living 20 km away formed a control group. A questionnaire and spirometry tests were completed by 223 exposed individuals (response rate men 70%, women 75%) and 179 control individuals (response rate men 51%, women 65%). Regression analyses included adjustment for smoking, occupational exposure, atopy, infection in the preceding month and age. Analyses of symptoms were also adjusted for stress reactions related to the accident.
Exposed individuals experienced significantly more blocked nose (odds ratio 1.7 [95% confidence interval 1.0, 2.8]), rhinorrhoea (1.6 [1.1, 3.3]), nose irritation (3.4 [2.0, 5.9]), sore throat (3.1 [1.8, 5.5]), morning cough (3.5 [2.0, 5.5]), daily cough (2.2 [1.4, 3.7]), cough >3 months a year (2.9 [1.5, 5.3]) and cough with phlegm (1.9 [1.2, 3.1]) than control individuals. A significantly increasing trend was found for nose symptoms and cough, depending on the proximity of home address to explosion site (daily cough, 3-6km 1.8 [1.0, 3.1],