Hospitals see uptick in anxiety cases after earthquake

Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton and Errol Greene, Regional Director at the South East Regional Health Authority
By Nakinskie Robinson 
Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton said a number of people have been seeking medical treatment at Corporate Area hospitals for shock and anxiety induced by Monday's earthquake. 
Speaking with Radio Jamaica News, Dr. Tufton said he is grateful there are no reports of fatalities, but assessments are still being carried out as persons turn up at hospitals. 
"A lot of the persons who have been turning up are persons, you know, who have had...whether it's panic attacks or seizures or I suspect a combination of both," he said, adding that he himself transported two persons to the University Hospital of the West Indies and saw others coming in while he was there. 
"I know that the A&Es are very busy. But it didn't appear to be falling debris injury. It's persons kind of blacking out," he noted. 
Describing the quake as frightening, Dr. Tufton said the incident also triggered seizures in epileptic people who had been receiving treatment at the University Hospital of the West Indies. 
Bustamante Hospital for Children also reported an uptick in the number of anxiety admissions as well as admissions for minor injuries in children following the tremor.
Errol Greene, Regional Director at the South East Regional Health Authority, told Radio Jamaica News that two children received minor injuries from falling objects during the quake. 
In both instances, he said the students then fell and were trampled by classmates. 
Patients were also relocated from the St. Joseph's field hospital to another section of the medical facility following the earthquake.
After assessments were done, Mr. Greene reported that there were only cosmetic damages to the facility. He said SERHA was assured that the integrity of the hospital's stucture is good, so patients were moved back to the field hospital.
Mr. Greene said the Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation is working with SERHA to determine the extent of structural damage to public health facilities in the Corporate Area. 
The Kingston Public Hospital experienced a power outage shortly after the quake.
But Mr. Greene said power was quickly restored to the facility via a back-up generator.

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