IFRC

Red Cross donates artificial skin and medical dressings through Taiwan Red Cross Organization for victims of the Formosa Fun Coast dust explosion

Published: 8 July 2015 10:27 CET

By Taiwan Red Cross Organization

In response to the Taiwan Red Cross Organization’s request for medical supplies and in-kind donations for victims of the Formosa Fun Coast dust explosion, the Japanese Red Cross Society has donated 2,730 sheets of artificial skin worth JPY 91.07 million (around CHF 70,000). On 27 June, a flammable starch-based powder exploded at the recreational water park in Taipei, injuring nearly 500 people and leaving around 290 in critical condition, with nearly 250 suffering more than 40% burns on their body.

“The artificial skin stretches to about 210,000 square centimetres,” says Dr. Toshiharu Makishima, Head of the International Medical Relief Department at the Japanese Red Cross Society Medical Centre. “We are distributing these skins to nine hospitals to help the burn victims with skin grafts – the National Taiwan University Hospital, Mackay Memorial Hospital, Far Eastern Hospital, Shuang Ho Hospital, Tri-Service General Hospital, En Chu Kong Hospital, Cathay General Hospital, Taoyuan General Hospital, and the China Medical University Hospital.

Mr. Nobuaki Sato, Director of the International Relief Division at the Japanese Red Cross National Headquarters, accompanied Dr. Makishima as they facilitated the delivery of the artificial skin and medical supplies to Taiwan. The skins were manufactured in Japan by Olympus Terumo Biomaterials Corporation and GUNZE Limited.

Arriving on 7 July, the first batch of medical dressings donated by the Red Cross Society of China was transported to Taiwan to assist in the emergency treatment of the wounded. The artificial skin grafts will then be transplanted onto the patients who have suffered severe burns to improve the function and appearance of the parts of the body damaged by the explosion. The National Society successfully gathered 1264 boxes of dressings urgently needed by hospitals and have offered medical assistance if needed. At the moment, the Red Cross Society of China is sourcing for more medical supplies from manufacturers in China. 

Immediately after the explosion, the Taiwan Red Cross Organization set up a hotline to provide social care and psychosocial support to the victims. An emergency response mechanism was activated, allocating 4 million Taiwan Dollars (CHF 120,000) to aid victims with emergency care and medical support. Obtaining more artificial skins and dressings remain a priority for Taiwan as the treatment of the severely wounded continues.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is coordinating and communicating with the Taiwan Red Cross Organization, Partner National Societies and other humanitarian agencies to identify additional needs towards the response, as well as potential interests and available resources to provide more support to this relief effort.




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