APIA - Lucky survivors of Samoa's deadly tsunami looked like they'd been "churned up in a mass of dirty washing machines" says an Australian surgeon helping on the ground.

Dr Rob Atkinson, from Adelaide, arrived with Australian medical teams to treat the 200 patients crammed into the tsunami ward of the countries national hospital in the capital Apia.

He is one of 70 Australian medics, including voluntary trainee doctors and specialists from the locally filmed United States Survivor reality show who have arrived in the past few days and have been working around the clock to treat those hit by Wednesday morning's waves.

The orthopaedic surgeon said wounds were similar to those seen in the Boxing Day tsunami - small but potentially fatal.

"We're seeing a lot of lacerations, tiny cuts everywhere going in all directions thanks to the sharp rocks and coral," Dr Atkinson said.

"They look as though they have been churned up in a massive really dirty washing machine because they basically have been."

He said that while the injuries look like simple small cuts to the untrained eye in these conditions they are very serious and potentially lethal.

"Often the tourists don't have local immunity so the sore quickly becomes infected."

He said the trick was to clean the wounds up very early and don't close them or the tissue may die.

"It's like World War 1. I know we have antibiotics these days but the same rules apply."

He said the Australian medics have been impressed with the hospitals, resources and staff.

"It's amazing really. They're fairly well equipped with CT scanners and drugs and drips and everything. And the local people really stepped up and quadrupled their workload to help out their fellow islanders."

The hospital manager Dr Lemalu Fiu proudly attests that not one sick person admitted to the hospital with tsunami injuries had died.

"From the beginning all victims that aren't dead on arrival have lived to recover," Dr Fiu told AAP.

"We're very proud of that record."

The number of dead in the hospital's morgue now sits at 103, including five Australians and two New Zealanders. The foreigners will be officially identified by Australian Federal Police on Saturday morning Australian time.

- AAP