By Jennifer Browning
PORT-AU-PRINCE—-Three patients being treated at the Project Medishare/UM Global Institute hospital in Haiti have been transferred to the United States for life-saving care. One more patient is awaiting transport.
While the U.S. has not approved government funded evacuations, the door has opened for those patients who had their travel previously arranged along with their travel and care privately funded. Patients being transported to the U.S. must be accompanied by a physician and a family member. Medical staff on the ground must have the tail number of the aircraft arriving in Haiti, so that the State Department has documentation of the flight and its passengers.
Project Medishare/UM Global Institute Hospital Coordinator and Administrator Liz Greig said the medical staff working with Haitian earthquake victims here in Haiti are please that individual charities in the U.S. are able to assist in getting these critical care patients to a facility that can give them the care they desperately need.
“The practical limitations regarding sending patients through military means and through the Emergency Medical System in the U.S. is well understood,” Greig said. “We are incredibly pleased to be able to take advantage of charitable institutions in the U.S. who are providing life-saving care. We are glad to coordinate between government agencies who are helping us make this happen.”
But Greig also said that more needs to be done for the critical patients remaining on the ground who are still in need of life-saving care that currently can’t be provided here.
“With the urgency of the cases we are dealing with, moving in a timely fashion was greatly appreciated, but the nature of the evacuations on a per case basis are a less than judicious use of resources,” Greig said. “I am sure as the process evolves we’ll be able to do it with greater efficiency.”
Today three patients were taken to Philadelphia. One was a 5-year-old girl with tetanus, another was an 18-month-old burn patient, and the third was a 14-month-old child who suffered from pneumonia.
A 7-year-old boy who had brain surgery last evening is currently waiting to be evacuated to Miami Children’s Hospital.
Transferred to the USS Comfort today were two adults. One is suffering from an incomplete spinal injury.
An estimated 100 critical care patients still wait to be sent to the U.S. for life-saving care.