Health impacts of floods: a comprehensive review

Article


Du, Weiwei, FitzGerald, Gerard, Clark, Michele and Hou, Xiang-Yu. 2010. "Health impacts of floods: a comprehensive review." Prehospital and Disaster Medicine. 25 (3), pp. 265-272. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1049023X00008141
Article Title

Health impacts of floods: a comprehensive review

ERA Journal ID13994
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsDu, Weiwei (Author), FitzGerald, Gerard (Author), Clark, Michele (Author) and Hou, Xiang-Yu (Author)
Journal TitlePrehospital and Disaster Medicine
Journal Citation25 (3), pp. 265-272
Number of Pages8
Year2010
Place of PublicationNew York, United States
ISSN1049-023X
1945-1938
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1017/S1049023X00008141
Web Address (URL)https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/prehospital-and-disaster-medicine/article/health-impacts-of-floods/11829B2183F14BF6E8563C37D73E8651
Abstract

Introduction: Floods are the most common hazard to cause disasters and have led to extensive morbidity and mortality throughout the world. The impact of floods on the human community is related directly to the location and topography of the area, as well as human demographics and characteristics of the built environment.

Objectives: The aim of this study is to identify the health impacts of disasters and the underlying causes of health impacts associated with floods. A conceptual framework is developed that may assist with the development of a rational and comprehensive approach to prevention, mitigation, and management.

Methods: This study involved an extensive literature review that located >500 references, which were analyzed to identify common themes, findings, and expert views. The findings then were distilled into common themes.

Results: The health impacts of floods are wide ranging, and depend on a number of factors. However, the health impacts of a particular flood are specific to the particular context. The immediate health impacts of floods include drowning, injuries, hypothermia, and animal bites. Health risks also are associated with the evacuation of patients, loss of health workers, and loss of health infrastructure including essential drugs and supplies. In the mediumterm, infected wounds, complications of injury, poisoning, poor mental health, communicable diseases, and starvation are indirect effects of flooding. In the long-term, chronic disease, disability, poor mental health, and poverty-related diseases including malnutrition are the potential legacy.

Conclusions: This article proposes a structured approach to the classification of the health impacts of floods and a conceptual framework that demonstrates the relationships between floods and the direct and indirect health consequences.

Keywordsdisaster; disaster planning; disaster medicine; emergency management; floods; health impact; health management; policy framework
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020420699. Public health not elsewhere classified
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Byline AffiliationsQueensland University of Technology
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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