Japan doctors used Twitter to save lives after quake

May 13, 2011 10:40
1 minute read.


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


HONG KONG - Doctors in Japan used Twitter to reach chronically-ill patients in the wake of the devastating March earthquake and tsunami, telling them where to go to get life-saving treatment after phone networks became unusable.

In a letter published in The Lancet on Friday, doctors Yuichi Tamura and Keiichi Fukuda said they sent tweets to 60 patients to tell them where to obtain crucial daily refills of a drug to prevent heart failure when they realized they couldn't reach them by phone due to congestion or damage.

"There are only about 1,000 such patients in all of Japan. It is a rare disease and there are not many hospitals that supply such rare drugs," Tamura, based at the Keio University School Of Medicine cardiology department in Tokyo. The patients suffered from pulmonary hypertension and needed once-daily refills of a drug that is pumped into a catheter connected to a vein in their neck. It prevents blood clots and heart failure.

"We directly contacted 60 patients and they re-tweeted to over 100. Some couldn't reach hospitals because they were living in disaster areas, so we took drugs to them using cars and, in one case, by helicopter."

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Breaking news
September 24, 2018
Flood threat still existent in Hurricane Florence aftermath