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Beirut Explosion: The Largest Non-Nuclear Blast in History

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 November 2021

Mariana Helou*
Affiliation:
Department of Emergency Medicine, Lebanese American University Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon
Mahmoud El-Hussein
Affiliation:
Department of Emergency Medicine, Lebanese American University Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon
Kurtulus Aciksari
Affiliation:
Department of Emergency Medicine, Istanbul Medeniyet University, Istanbul, Turkey
Flavio Salio
Affiliation:
World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland
Francesco Della Corte
Affiliation:
CRIMEDIM-Research Center in Emergency and Disaster Medicine, Università del Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy
Johan von Schreeb
Affiliation:
Department of Global Public Health, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Luca Ragazzoni
Affiliation:
CRIMEDIM-Research Center in Emergency and Disaster Medicine, Università del Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy
*
Corresponding author: Mariana Helou, Email: mariana.helou@lau.edu.lb

Abstract

A massive explosion have ripped Beirut on August 4, 2020, leaving behind more than 6000 casualties, 800 regular floor admissions, 130 intensive care unit admissions, and over 200 deaths. Buildings were destroyed, hospitals in Beirut were also destroyed, others became nonfunctional. A disaster code was initiated in all the hospitals. Victims were transported by the Lebanese Red Cross or by volunteers to the nearest hospital that was still functional. Hospitals were flooded in patients, the coordination between health care centers was missing. Each hospital was functioning to its maximum capacity. With the many challenges we had, a rapid response was initiated. An effective triage done outside the Emergency had the major role in saving lives. After the Beirut Explosion, an assessment of the disaster plan and a major evaluation of the hospitals’ coordination is needed.

Type
Report from the Field
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health, Inc.

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