Publicatie datum

Monitoring health status following a major firework factory explosion.

Dirkzwager, A., IJzermans, J. Monitoring health status following a major firework factory explosion. European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling: 2003, 4(3) 183. Abstract: 8th European conference on traumatic stress, 22-25 mei, Berlin, Germany.
In May 2000, a firework factory exploded in a residential area in the Netherlands, resulting in 22 death, 947 wounded people, 500 destroyed houses, and 1.500 severely damaged houses. Following the explosion, a large-scale monitoring study was implemented to investigate disaster-related health consequences of both the residents of the neigbourhood and the rescue workers involved in the aftermath of the explosion. The purpose of this monitoring study is to longitudinally monitor the health impact of this explosion. Methods: Data is gathered at general practitioners' (GPs) practice through a standardised reporting procedure, in which the GPs register each contact with their clients in a computerised format. The monitoring provides information about the number of medical consultations and the type of health complaints patients present to their GPs. In addition, information is available on demographic characteristics (such as gender, age, ethnicity), and on the degree of exposure to the explosion. Health complaints are coded by the GPs according to the International Classification of Primary Care (ICPC). Since the reporting procedure was already operational one year prior to the disaster, baseline information is available as well. In addition, since 1996 a large number of GPs in other cities in the Netherlands use the same standardised reporting procedure. There fore, information on the health status of a control group, not exposed to the disaster, is available. Results and Conclusions: The monitoring is still in process. Final results are expected by December 2002. So far, data of 6.754 persons directly exposed to the explosion is available. At the conference, the authors will present a ranking of the most prevalent health complaints in both the exposed and the control group, during the pre- and postdisaster period. In addition, risk factors for the development of health problems will be presented. (aut.ref.)