Radiation Disaster Medical Center 安心と笑顔のある、活き活きとした生活を支援します。
HOME > Fukushima Record: Chronology of the Fukushima Disaster
Huge earthquake struck Fukushima city, which subsequently interrupted the water supply throughout the city, including that of the Fukushima Medical University Hospital, although there was no relevant damage to the hospital infrastructure.
We were preparing to receive sick and injured residents while the earthquake was still ongoing.
Radiologists and radiation technologists were ready at the Fukushima Medical University Decontamination Building (currently known as Fukushima Medical University Radiation Disaster Center) to respond to possible radiological exposure/contamination cases.
Devices, such as the Geiger-Mueller Meter, were prepared for the detection of radioactive contamination.
Hospital beds were prepared at the lobby of the ground floor to receive sick and injured patients admitted to the hospital.
Outpatient care was temporarily suspended and we began to provide radiation emergency medical care, starting with patients who got injured in the nuclear accident site.
We continued decontamination and medical treatment of patients injured in the hydrogen explosion.
Meanwhile the JGSDF arrived and were stationed in the hospital. On the evening of that same day, JGSDF Central Nuclear Biological Chemical Weapon Defense Unit 103 Division also joined our efforts and undertook the lead in transportation, decontamination, and exposure screening of patients. This support resulted in drastic improvement of the quality of our radiation emergency medical care, for which we are enormously grateful.
On this day, the REMAT from Hiroshima and Nagasaki Universities, who had joined in Fukushima, headed to NPP in the town of Okuma by JGSDF helicopter to rescue patients exposed to radiation.
At this point, food distribution was disrupted and all the foodstuff at the convenience stores of the hospital were depleted. Fortunately, however, an increasing number of relief supplies from all over the country arrived around this time. We are grateful to each individual for their generous support.
We anticipated that the number of injuries could rise at any moment. The emergency response training session was held for the first time since the disaster, and it was helpful to reassess and confirm the roles of the members of the hospital staff.
For the purpose of crisis communication, we organized a lecture concerning the effects of radiation on health that targeted the hospital staff. Water distribution infrastructure was recovered around this time and water supply was resumed at the hospital on the following day.
The Japanese Red Cross Nagasaki Team took over the advance troop REMAT Nagasaki, which had arrived on March 14, and conducted a handover process to ensure a smooth transition. (First row, right: Prof Akira Ohtsuru is currently the Director of the center)
We performed radiation exposure screening of patients from evacuation zones at the main entrance of the hospital.
Medical transport via Fukushima Medical University took place consistently, and a large number of patients were transferred from medical facilities in the affected areas to the ones in Niigata, Gunma, and other prefectures with the support of the Japan Disaster Relief Team and other teams of the JGSDF, Japan Coast Guard, and Fire Department helicopters.
REMAT members immediately set up the necessary equipment and waited for the arrival of the patients.
It was at this early stage of the disaster that the REMAT started to have regular cross-departmental meetings with mini-lectures, to share information with relevant personnel, and to build knowledge on radiation. These meetings are still held on a regular basis.