Rescue workers to natural disasters often unrecognized sufferers: study

09:46, March 09, 2011      

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Rescue workers are often unrecognized sufferers in the aftermath of natural disasters and other major traumatic events, according to the latest study published on Tuesday.

The study, conducted by Chinese and Australian researchers, examined 1,187 soldiers who were deployed to assist after the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in China. The study found the soldiers presented a high incidence of health problems.

The study was led by Dr. Weiqiang Zhang from the Beijing Military General Hospital.

It found due to extrication work or exposure to extremely hot or wet conditions, skin and respiratory problems were most common among soldiers.

Mental stress of the work, including long working hours and the inability to sleep or to rest, also has a significant impact on volunteers' physical health, leading into fatigue and depression.

Abdominal pain and diarrhoea were also common, and the report said these can be linked to intense psychological situations and a sudden change of food.
  Weekly review  

Source: Xinhua

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