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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017, Article ID 3203768, 7 pages
Research Article

Experiences Providing Medical Assistance during the Sewol Ferry Disaster Using Traditional Korean Medicine

1Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Korean Medicine, Woosuk University, Jeollabuk-do, Republic of Korea
2KM Fundamental Research Division, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon, Republic of Korea
3Internal Medicine, College of Korean Medicine, Gachon University, Seongnam, Republic of Korea
4Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
5Internal Medicine, College of Korean Medicine, Semyung University, Chungbuk, Republic of Korea
6Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Korean Medicine, Daejeon University, Daejeon, Republic of Korea
7Department of Pharmaceutical Affairs, The Association of Korean Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea
8Clinical Research Division, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon, Republic of Korea

Correspondence should be addressed to Seong-Gyu Ko;

Received 28 June 2017; Revised 7 September 2017; Accepted 1 October 2017; Published 7 November 2017

Academic Editor: Hanbing Li

Copyright © 2017 Kyeong Han Kim et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. This study aimed to investigate medical records using traditional Korean medicine (TKM) in Sewol Ferry disaster in 2014 and further explore the possible role of traditional medicine in disaster situation. Methods. After Sewol Ferry accident, 3 on-site tents for TKM assistance by the Association of Korean Medicine (AKOM) in Jindo area were installed. The AKOM mobilized volunteer TKM doctors and assistants and dispatched each on-site tent in three shifts within 24 hours. Anyone could use on-site tent without restriction and TKM treatments including herb medicine were administered individually. Results. The total of 1,860 patients were treated during the periods except for medical assistance on the barge. Most patients were diagnosed in musculoskeletal diseases (66.4%) and respiratory diseases (7.4%) and circulatory diseases (8.4%) followed. The most frequently used herbal medicines were Shuanghe decoction (80 days), Su He Xiang Wan (288 pills), and Wuji powder (73 days). Conclusions. TKM in medical assistance can be helpful to rescue worker or group life people in open shelter when national disasters occur. Therefore, it is important to construct a rapid respond system using TKM resources based on experience.