The official injury count from the deadly May 12 quake is staggering -- more than 370,000 people. Among them, 50,000 are likely to be disabled, including many with amputated limbs, according to government and health industry sources.
"I would estimate there would be thousands of amputees from the earthquake," said Lan Xiufu, an orthopedics doctor at Chongqing Daping Hospital who has done about 100 amputation surgeries on Sichuan quake patients. He said about 30% to 40% of them were performed on children.
"Disabled earthquake victioms face tough road in China"
Los Angeles Times, June 9, 2008
About 10,000 school children are estimated to have been killed in the earthquake, whose confirmed death toll rose to more than 69,107 on June 3. The government lists 18,230 people as missing.
"Chinese Police Harass Grieving Parents"
International Herald Tribune, June 3, 2008
A standard prosthetic program (for children) begins at amputation and ending at age 18 years. Prosthetic costs from the time of injury to the age of 18 years range from $73,140 to $116,040 per single lower extremity amputation.
Pediatric Lawnmower Amputations abstract
Shriners Hospital for Children, Minneapolis
The May 12 earthquake struck Sichuan, a province in southwestern China. It was China's most damaging earthquake since the 1976 Tangshan earthquake disaster. Though the epicenter in Wenchuan region was in a mountainous area, approximately 603,000 people lived in the region most violently affected by the earthquake. In this area the shaking was estimated as Modified Mercalli Intensity X: Disastrous, meaning that most masonry and frame structures were destroyed with their foundations (see USGS Eastern Sichuan Earthquake map).
"Environmental Challenges after China's Sichuan Earthquake"
Earthtrends, World Resources Institute, June 24, 2008
Galvanized by the heartrending story of Chinese teenager Yang Liu, whose crushed legs were amputated to free her from the rubble of her school in southwestern China, foreign aid groups are preparing to donate prosthetic services and artificial limbs to earthquake victims.
"Help on Way for Quake Amputee Girl"
ABC News, May 15, 2008