Wednesday, January 27, 2010

January 27, 2010 - The U.S. Navy Helps Out

From Dr. John Donovan, anesthesiologist (Alta Bates Summit Medical Center):

"Today [January 26, 2010] we evacuated two patients with orthopedic injuries that could not be managed at our hospital. One patient had an intratrochanteric hip fracture and the other had a serious pelvic fracture.

Since transporting patients by ambulance to Port au Prince is extremely difficult, the Navy's USS Nassau sent a helicopter to pick up the patients. The Navy gave us a 10 minute lead time to get our patients to the 'LZ' or landing zone – a nearby soccer field.

Typically getting around town is relatively low key...but this changes when a helicopter lands in town.

Above, the helicopter draws a crowd, which blocked our way to the “LZ”. We eventually get through.

Once at the landing zone, Malcolm Smith M.D., (surgeon, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston) watches our patients being loaded onto the helicopter.

Above, local residents gather with interest around our vehicle as we try to exit the soccer field.

The US Military has really stepped up to help with the medical situation. We hope to MEDEVAC several more patients in the coming days."

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