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Health News of Thursday, 4 November 2021


‘Victims of collapsed buildings are trauma patients, prone to irreversible brain damage, other injuries’

The scene of the collapsed building The scene of the collapsed building

A professor at the Department of Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Mike Ogirima, says victims of collapsed buildings can suffer any kind of injury in any part of the body, noting that they are trauma patients.

The surgeon also noted that the victims can suffer irreversible brain damage due to being denied oxygen.

Speaking in an interview with PUNCH HealthWise, Prof. Ogirima said anyone trapped in a collapsed building can suffer suffocating effects on the chest, abdomen, and airways.

“Victims of a collapsed building can sustain any injury from head to toe because it’s a trauma and any aspect of the body can be injured, including the spine, abdomen, and the bones.

“If somebody is denied oxygen for three minutes, there will be severe brain damage which may be irreversible.

So, if a person is trapped, apart from the supply of oxygen, there will be suffocating effects on the chest, the abdomen, and the airways.

“If the airway is blocked for three minutes, the person will be gone. One can bleed internally or externally but that can be treated and corrected once the person is rescued but if the person’s respiratory system is compromised for three minutes, the person can die,” he said.

Ogirima, who is also a former President of the Nigerian Orthopaedic Association said victims of collapsed buildings may become depressed and experience psychological derailment.

“Even if they survive, some of them may go into depression. They could have emotional effects and some may be at the threshold of derailment and manifest psychosis,” he said.