Publicatie datum

Public health impact of the Volendam discotheque fire.

Dorn, T., IJzermans, C.J. Public health impact of the Volendam discotheque fire. European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling: 2003, 4 183-184. Abstract.8th European conference on traumatic stress, 22-25 may, Berlin, Germany.
Objective: The purpose of the study is to evaluate the pulic health impact of the 2001 Volendam discotheque fire. The fire occurred in an overcrowded pub in the Dutch city of Volendam where mostly young people were celebrating new year's eve. A total of 14 youngsters who were trapped in the fire died, 250 were injured, 60 suffer from severe burn injuries. Since Volendam is a small and close-knit community, we expect adverse health effects not only for the survivors of the disaster, but also for the families and peers of those dead or injured. Design and method: In the Nederlands, GPs act as gatekeepers to specialist services and every person must be registered with a GP. Surveillance data is therefore gathered at GPs practices through a standardized reporting procedure. The monitoring provides information about the number of medical consultations and the type of health complaints patients present to their GPs. Health complaints are coded according to the International Classification of Primary Care (ICPC). Since the reporting procedure was already operational one year predisaster, baseline information is available as well. In general, we study the health of three groups: (1) primary victims and their immediate families (2) secondary victims (peers and other community members) and (3) nonvictims (other Dutch GP-populations). Results and conclusions: the monitoring is still in process. Final results are expected by December 2002. At the conference, we will present a ranking of the most prevalent health complaints across the different groups during the pre- and postdisaster period. Special attention is devoted to the mental health impact of the disaster. Risk factors for the developement of mental disorders and the aggravation of chronic
conditions will be presented. (aut.ref.)