Earthquake – Doti, November 9, 2022: An experience of a Doctor

On November 8, 2022, Doti District, Nepal was hit by the experienced earthquake and its aftershock between 7 to 8 pm. It was a minor earthquake with no damage. However, on 9th November, at 2:12 am we experienced the second aftershock which was a 6.6 rector earthquake lasting for about 4-5 seconds causing damage to buildings. The third aftershock was experienced at 3:30 pm which lasted for 2 seconds. Buildings that were cracked would have collapsed if the aftershock had been stronger.

At four in the morning, the Chief District Officer and the Superintendent of Police informed me about the injured victims. We started emergency preparedness, activated rapid response teams, and prepared emergency, X-ray, and pharmacy staff to receive injured patients. We additionally organized IV cannula, analgesics, IV fluids, POP, and dressing sets.

The place that had the biggest impact was Gaida, which was an hour drive from the hospital followed by a 90-minute walk. So, we started receiving patients from 7 am. There were six patients, four of the patients had a minor injury, one patient had injury around the shoulder joint and one patient had multiple rib fractures, pneumothorax and cervical spine fractures. These two patients were referred to Seti Zonal Hospital. There were six dead reported to us, so we sent a team of doctors for verification and documentation.

The patient with pneumothorax was treated with chest tube. As soon as we inserted chest tube, the local attenders transferred the patient to the ambulance because the helicopter had landed. The anxious group took the patient to helipad not knowing the consequences of cervical spine injury despite of our effort to make them understand. We had not finished writing our clinical note when the ambulance moved. We completed the clinical note quickly and followed the ambulance in motorbike to handover the clinical note at helipad.

The transfer was coordinated by District Disaster Management Committee which is under the Chief District Officer. Air evacuation was carried out by the team of the Nepali Army.

It was a bad experience after the 2072 earthquake.

Dr. Nirajan Shrestha
General Practitioner, Doti District Hospital

 

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