In addition to collecting
adequate information on the location and severity of the injury and
disposition of each patient, the surveillance team should attempt to
record, for each patient, a permanent point of contact outside the
disaster impact area so that epidemiologists conducting follow-up
studies and/or surveillance efforts can find them, even if they are
not able to return to their previous addresses because of earthquake
damage. Depending on the
urgency of the situation, some information can be collected on the
spot about how an injury was sustained.
Good basic data collected at the outset will both provide
decision makers with accurate data on injuries and form the basis
for lessons applicable to the next earthquake.