News / Americas

Seriously Injured from Haiti Quake Continue to Arrive Aboard Seaborne Hospital 'Comfort'

Medical professionals aboard the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) treat a six-year-old Haitian boy in the casualty receiving room aboard the 1,000-bed hospital ship.
Medical professionals aboard the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) treat a six-year-old Haitian boy in the casualty receiving room aboard the 1,000-bed hospital ship.

Multimedia

David Dyar

Hundreds of victims of the Haiti earthquake have been treated aboard the US Navy Ship Comfort, anchored off Port-au-Prince.  The patient load is lighter now, but doctors say patients continue to arrive, needing surgery and other care. The ship's medical staff says the medical disaster has been unprecedented.

Doctors on the "Comfort" have performed more than 650 surgeries, in many cases saving patients who would have otherwise died.

One premature baby was born on board the ship. Both baby and mother are doing fine.

Military doctors and civilian volunteers from American hospitals say they have never seen such a large number of severe injuries.

Commander Robert Fetherston is clinical coordinator of the ship's operating room. "Amputations, femur fractures, pelvic fractures, facial fractures, all kinds of fractures, fractures that none of us have never seen before," he said.

This woman's baby was saved after its head was partly crushed during the quake.

The ship's pediatric ward has up to 60 patients and nearly as many parents and escorts.

Medical workers say they have seen miracles here, but John Keeve, an orthopedic surgeon from Washington state, says many patients will lack the extended after-care later on. "And I guess we have to temper our enthusiasm, understanding that these people come from impoverished surroundings and can't necessarily get the treatment that they would normally get in the United States," he said.

But parents say they are thrilled to see their children recover, and staff members of the Comfort are pleased to be part of the international effort to help Haiti.  

Lieutenant Commander John Hussey is in charge of the ship's blood bank and lab. "This was something that was unexpected, but as time has gone on, I think that the staff on board the ship has really felt honored to be a part of something and give something back, especially to the Haitian people in this time of need," he said.

As new patients reach the Comfort, others are sent to hospitals on shore, to make room for the critically injured who need major surgery or other treatment on board.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs

More Americas News

US, Cuba Fail to Reach Agreement to Reopen Embassies

State Department officials say they're optimistic that negotiations will conclude despite sticking points
More

Tutu Lends Support to Age Campaign

Help Age International has launched Action 2015 campaign
More

Colombia Kills 18 FARC Rebels

The bombing raid took place in the Cauca region of western Colombia
More

US, Cuba Talks Resume With Focus on Embassies

Fourth round of talks aimed at overcoming obstacles to opening embassies in each other's capitals and re-establishing diplomatic ties
More

Lawmakers Question Normalization Effort With Cuba

On eve of next round of US-Cuba talks, Senator Bob Menendez calls engagement 'one-sided'
More

Chinese Premier Visits South America

Brazil is the first stop on Chinese premier Li’s tour of Latin America
More