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Japan DMAT operations in the Diamond Princess cruise ship: COVID-19 medical operation

Hisayoshi Kondo, MD, PhD, Yuichi Koido, MD, PhD, Yoshitaka Kohayagawa, MD, Hideaki Anan, MD, PhD


Objective: The aim of this study was to identify positive effects from the Japan Disaster Medical Assistant Team (DMAT) medical operation in the Diamond Princess cruise ship (DP).

Methods: Japan DMAT dispatched and managed the medical operation for DP passengers and crew members. The records of communication logs for the DMAT were evaluated.

Results: Four hundred seventy two DMAT members responded. DMAT took 3 to 4 days to manage patients due to the lack of medical supplies in the early phase of the operation. Prescription distribution was delayed, including for passengers who would be in critical health conditions without them. DMAT conducted a strategic operation and developed categorization for medical care and patient transport. Eventually, DMAT constructed flow to provide rapid medical care and prescription distribution for passengers and crew members.

Conclusion: DMAT has been required to respond to unforeseen disasters in this framework since the Fukushima Nuclear Plant accident in 2011. All the past several types of disaster responses contributed to managing medical operations at the DP. These operations are thought to have reduced preventable deaths from COVID-19.


COVID-19, disaster medicine, emergency responders, emergency medicine

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