Shock Trauma Team Working at Damaged Haiti Hospital
In a story for the Catholic News Service (CNS), Dennis Sadowski writes "Foreign Doctors Help Haitian Staff in What Remains of Hospital" at St. Francis de Sales Hospital.
He writes, "Even as teams of foreign doctors met with Haitian staffers to develop treatment plans and organize medical supplies in late January, up to 100 bodies remained in the collapsed three-story pediatrics and obstetrics wing.
"The hospital staff knows there were at least 25 child patients in the wing and a similar number of family members at their sides when the building tumbled during the magnitude 7 earthquake Jan. 12. Staff members make up the rest of the list of victims.
"Located a few blocks from the destroyed presidential palace, the hospital had few remaining functions operating in late January. The staff was depending on experts from around the world to help them treat earthquake victims.
"Teams of trauma specialists from Belgium, Germany, Poland, Japan and the U.S. rotated in and out of the hospital in the weeks following the earthquake. Doctors from the University of Maryland Medical Center and Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego began working with patients Jan. 30 in conditions they said were hardly adequate for victims with nonlife-threatening injuries, let alone the seriously injured."
Thomas Scalea, MD, physician-in-chief of the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center, is quoted in the story and notes that "he led a team to aid earthquake victims in China in 2008 and told CNS as he made rounds at St. Francis de Sales Jan. 30 that his team is limited by a lack of supplies and trained medical staff."
"His team's presence was part of a joint initiative by the University of Maryland and the U.S. bishops' Catholic Relief Services to lay the groundwork for a long-term emergency response at the hospital. CRS has a history of working at St. Francis de Sales because the hospital has been used by the AIDSRelief consortium -- of which CRS is a member -- to treat patients with HIV."
This information was written prior to their departure.
The first team of 22 doctors, nurses and other health professionals from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the University of Maryland Medical Center is traveling to Haiti. Part of the group flew out of Baltimore Washington International Airport Thursday Jan. 28 and a second wave flew out on Saturday Jan. 30.
It marks the beginning of a sustained initiative in partnership with Catholic Relief Services to assist with the lifesaving medical care of survivors from the earthquake in Haiti. The first team, which will stay in Haiti for a week, is made up of surgical staff from the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center and four infectious disease specialists from the University of Maryland School of Medicine's Institute of Human Virology.
The University of Maryland team is bringing a large supply of medications and other medical supplies. The team will work at the site of St. Francois de Sales Hospital-one of Haiti's oldest hospitals in Port-au-Prince, which was heavily damaged by the earthquake.
The School of Medicine has a longstanding relationship with St. Francois de Sales Hospital because it is the site of an HIV/AIDS program operated through a partnership of the Institute of Human Virology and Catholic Relief Services.
Here is the departure of the second group Saturday.
About 150 health professionals from throughout the University of Maryland Medical Center and the School of Medicine have volunteered to assist with the efforts. Many of them will be on teams that will rotate every week to and from Haiti for the next few months.
The first team will be led by Thomas M. Scalea, MD, Physician-In-Chief of the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center and professor of Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Scalea and other Shock Trauma staff have unique expertise in the types of traumatic injuries-orthopaedic as well as spine and head injuries-that they expect to treat in Haiti.
For example, in June 2008, a team from Shock Trauma went to West China Hospital in Chengdu, Sichuan Province in China to assist with medical care of survivors from a devastating earthquake there.
The first team also includes Andrew Pollak, MD, and Robert Redfield, MD. They traveled to Haiti previously to make a first-hand assessment of the medical needs for the team's mission.
Pollak is the associate professor of Orthopaedics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the head of Trauma Orthopaedics at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center. Redfield is the professor of Medicine and director of Clinical Care and Research at the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the chief of Infectious Diseases at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Before their departure, School of Medicine Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, held a news conference with representatives from the School of Medicine, University of Maryland Medical System, and Catholic Relief Services to explain the relief efforts.