Specialised equipment and teams sent to treat post-quake 'crush' victims

Brussels - Earthquake victims who have been pulled out from under rubble often suffer from 'crush syndrome'. "Crush Syndrome is an acute kidney condition which is caused when damaged muscle tissues release massive quantities of toxins into the bloodstream," explained Martin De Smet of the Médecins Sans Frontières medical department.

"The treatment for this type of syndrome, which is fatal in one case out of two, is dialysis, a renewal of the kidney function by artificial means." MSF has mobilized a team of specialists to help the medical personnel of Kerman regional hospital, which is situated 200 kms north of Bam.

The MSF team is composed of three nephrologists from Ghent University, a medical coordinator and a logistician. To reinforce the capacity of the team, a cargo freight plane is leaving from Ostende tonight (Dec 30) for Kerman, carrying six dialysis machines and other medical material, such as catheters and additional dialysis products.

"For the most urgent needs, this equipment will allow us to provide 300 dialysis sessions" explained professor Wim Van Biesen, a kidney specialist from Ghent university who is part of the MSF team and a member of ISN. "At the moment the nephrology department of the Kerman hospital is not equipped with adequate machines. We are therefore sending additional machines from Brussels and will the train the Iranian personnel to work with this new model."