Pediatric otolaryngology in a field hospital in the Philippines

Tal Marom, David Dagan, Giora Weiser, Joseph Mendlovic, Gad Levy, Manor Shpriz, Dov Albukrek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Major natural disasters adversely affect local medical services and resources. We sought to characterize pediatric patients presenting with otolaryngology-head and neck surgery (OTO-HNS)-related diseases/injuries to a field hospital over 11 days of operation, which was deployed to assist the healthcare facilities in Bogo, the Philippines, in the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda). Methods: We reviewed charts of pediatric patients aged 0-18 years visiting our field hospital, who presented with OTO-HNS-related diseases/injuries. We also describe the structure of the field hospital, equipment, facilities and capabilities of our service, discuss medical and ethical concerns, and propose several recommendations for future similar missions. Results: Of the 863 pediatric visits, 91 (11%) presented with OTO-HNS-related diseases/injuries, 3 of them were of recurring patients. Of the 88 included individual patients, 47 (53%) were boys, with an average age of 6.9 ± 4.9 years. Ear-related diseases, mostly acute otitis media (AOM), and neck-related diseases were the most common pathologies (49% and 16% of the patients, respectively). Antibiotic therapy was administered to 36 (41%) patients, mostly to children with AOM. Despite limited resources, we were able to perform surgical interventions on 8 (9%) patients, which included laceration suturing, abscess drainage and neck surgery. Conclusions: Otolaryngologists have an important role in the treatment of children affected in a disaster area, at a time of an increased demand for healthcare. Unlike 'acute phase' missions, where traumatic injuries are the focus for treatment, 'subacute' phase missions provide more routine medical and surgical care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)807-811
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Ambulatory setting
  • Disaster
  • Operative
  • Surgical procedures
  • The philippines
  • Typhoon


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