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UB-ECMC physician Dr. Lawrence Bone in Haiti with nine other orthopaedic trauma surgeons to treat Haitians injured in quake
BUFFALO, NEW YORK; March 19, 2010-Lawrence Bone, M.D., Orthopaedics Department Chair, Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, State University of New York at Buffalo, and Orthopaedic Trauma Surgeon at ECMC, joined nine other orthopaedic trauma surgeons from across the country as members of the Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA) who volunteered and traveled to Haiti in February to treat Haitian patients injured during the Jan. 12 earthquake on the U.S. Navy hospital ship, the USNS Comfort.
Comfort departed its homeport in Baltimore Jan. 16, and arrived three-and-a-half days later and immediately began supporting humanitarian relief efforts in Haiti. Prior to anchoring off the coast of Port-au-Prince Jan. 20, Comfort was already receiving patients in transit via airlift. During portions of the relief effort, nearly 1,300 medical personnel from the U.S. military and various non governmental organizations (NGOs) were embarked and treating earthquake survivors. Comfort had more than 540 critically injured patients on board within the first ten days. Over the course of seven weeks, the ship's U.S. military and civilian medical personnel treated 871 patients injured (during the quake) receiving at the height of the recovery effort one patient every six to nine minutes. *
The Navy requested specialists due to the overwhelming number of patients requiring orthopaedic trauma care. Approximately 90 percent of the injured patients sustained complex fractures requiring the surgical expertise of orthopedic trauma surgeons.
The ten OTA surgeons had previously volunteered in Landstuhl, Germany, and were credentialed by the U.S. Army which helped to expedite their credentialing by the U.S. Navy. The Comfort was mobilized from Baltimore in a 48-hour notification after the earthquake. The OTA surgeons arrived on Feb. 3, accompanied by volunteers from Project Hope and Operation Smile. These organizations provided nurses, nurse anesthetists, and operating nurses. From Feb. 3 through Feb. 15, the OTA surgeons performed more than 200 operations on complex and difficult injuries that were already three to five weeks old.
The Comfort, a converted oil tanker the size of an aircraft carrier, has 910 beds, 12 operating room, a 40-bed Emergency Room, and 90 intensive care beds. "It is twice the capacity of ECMC. The ship was admitting 50 patients a day. It was like emptying ECMC and filling it twice over a three week period. The Navy crew and medical staff did an unbelievable job," stated Dr. Bone.
As stated on the U.S. Navy web site http://www.navy.mil/, in the 3/9/2010 news release, Hospital Ship USNS Comfort Completes Important Relief Mission in Haiti: "Prior to anchoring off the coast of Port-au-Prince Jan. 20, Comfort was already receiving patients in transit via airlift. During portions of the relief effort, nearly 1,300 medical personnel from the U.S. military and various non governmental organizations (NGOs) were embarked and treating earthquake survivors. By early February, as relief efforts increased and medical treatment facilities ashore expanded in their ability to treat more patients and provide greater care, the amount of earthquake victims requiring transit to Comfort naturally declined."* The mission to Haiti was a Navy relief mission funded by the U.S. Navy.
About OTA: The mission of the Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA) is to promote excellence in care for the injured patient, through provision of scientific forums and support of musculoskeletal research and education of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the public. The OTA is adaptable, forward thinking and fiscally responsible and is composed of a diverse world-wide membership who provide care and improve the knowledge base for the treatment of injured patients. OTA members provide worldwide leadership through education, research and patient advocacy. For more information about the OTA, log-on to: http://www.ecmc.edu/tools/tinymce/jscripts/tiny_mce/plugins/paste/www.ota.org.
About the U.S. Navy and Operation Unified Response: While deployed for Operation Unified Response, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command (NAVSO) had operational control of all maritime assets in the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) region. In support of Operation Unified Response, NAVSO is tasked to coordinate the U.S. Navy's response to disaster relief in Haiti following a 7.0 magnitude earthquake Jan. 12. The focus of Operation Unified Response is to alleviate the suffering of survivors and support humanitarian relief efforts. For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/cusns/.
About ECMC: The ECMC Corporation includes an advanced academic medical center (ECMC) with 550 inpatient beds and 136 skilled-nursing-home beds, on- and off-campus health centers, over 40 outpatient specialty care clinics and the Erie County Home, a skilled nursing facility. ECMC is the regional center for trauma, burn care, rehabilitation, and is a major teaching facility for the State University of New York at Buffalo. Most ECMC physicians, dentists and pharmacists are dedicated faculty members of the University. More Western New York residents are choosing ECMC for exceptional patient care and customer service provided as a result of its Culture of Care. For more information about ECMC, see: http://www.ecmc.edu/.
* U.S. Navy web site http://www.navy.mil/,; 3/9/2010 news release, Hospital Ship USNS Comfort Completes Important Relief Mission in Haiti.
NEWS CONTACT: Joe Cirillo at 716-898-4300 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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