UW News

January 13, 2005

Treating tsunami survivors in Thailand

Dr. Mark Oberle, associate dean in public health, had planned on spending part of his Christmas holiday snorkeling with his family in Thailand. Instead, he assisted in the rescue and treatment of victims of the tsunami that struck the region on Dec. 26.

Oberle and his family had visited friends in Bangkok, Thailand, before flying to the island of Phuket late Dec. 25. The next morning, the tsunami hit. Patong Beach, where he and his family were staying, was one of the hardest hit areas on the island. Oberle used his skills as a physician and public health emergency specialist to help set up triage and rescue injured people in the tsunami’s aftermath.

He treated many victims for injuries ranging from minor cuts and scrapes to bone fractures and deep tissue lacerations. His journal and photographs cataloguing the experience are available at http://faculty.washington.edu/moberle/Tsunami/Tsunami.htm

Oberle is associate dean for public health practice and professor of epidemiology and health services in the UW School of Public Health and Community Medicine. He is also adjunct professor of medical education and biomedical informatics in the School of Medicine.