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Format: 04/19/2014
Format: 04/19/2014


Associated Press: Pennsylvania hospitals to accept earthquake victims

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania hospitals are volunteering to accept gravely wounded Haitians at the request of the U.S. military, Gov. Ed Rendell said Monday.
Rendell said Pennsylvania was one of five states asked last week by the military to care for Haitian earthquake victims.

"The United States of America has always stood for its willingness to help people in need," Rendell told reporters at a news conference Monday. "They don't have to be American, we've always been there, we've always been the safe harbor."

Carolyn Scanlan of the Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania said the wounded could include amputees and paraplegics.However, it was not clear when exactly wounded Haitian earthquake victims will show up.

Hours after Rendell spoke on Monday, the federal government activated parts of its National Disaster Medical System. That means teams from the federal government, and not the state, will screen patients getting off military flights and decide when and where wounded Haitian earthquake victims are treated in Pennsylvania, said state Health Department spokeswoman Stacey Kriedeman said.

Kriedeman said the list of hospitals willing to take the victims is likely to grow as the federal government searches for volunteers.

On Monday, it included some of the biggest health systems in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia - including the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pittsburgh - as well as St. Vincent in Erie and Ephrata Community Hospital in Lancaster County.

Hospitals are needed now that the U.S. military has resumed medical evacuation flights out of Haiti.

The military's temporary suspension of medical evacuation flights from Haiti apparently stemmed from a dispute over where seriously injured patients should be taken for treatment. As a result of the logjam, some of the sick were taken out of the country by private groups.

On Sunday, the Boston-based aid group Partners in Health helped bring three Haitian children to Philadelphia hospitals.

A 15-month-old boy was in critical condition at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia with pneumonia, according to spokeswoman Juliann Walsh. A 5-year-old girl being treated for tetanus had been upgraded from critical to serious condition.

A third patient, a baby who suffered third-degree burns from sun exposure, was being treated at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children. That child has been upgraded to good condition, according to the hospital.

Meanwhile, a 16-year-old Haitian boy suffering from bone cancer arrived in Pittsburgh on Sunday with an orthopedic pediatrician from the West Penn Allegheny Health System. Dr. Mark Sangimino met Kenson Jean in an initial trip to Haiti last week.

To read more, visit the Observer-Reporter website.

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