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Our Advance Team has been on the ground in the Philippines working in and around Ormoc City for several days now. It’s made up of three people: a HHI staffer, a doctor and a nurse. While they have been working through the logistics of deploying more medical volunteers (that are arriving), they have also been traveling and have seen hundreds of patients in a variety of locations with myriad afflictions. One doctor & one nurse. Seeing hundreds of patients.
Rick Randolph, MD is a physician based in the Kansas City Metro, and a HHI board member.
Sue Mangicaro, RN is volunteering for the Advance Team, on “loan” from Welch Allyn where she is the Director of Clinical Affairs.
What follows is some of what Sue has seen and done in the past few days in the Philippines.
SUE: This one afternoon was spent seeing more than 50 patients in a barangay (neighborhood) a short distance from our first clinic. While not far, the damage here was more severe and there were more casualties. When we arrived we learned that large sacks of rice had been delivered just a short time before, and we had little space to set up. But going with our “make do” approach we compromised and set up an “exam area” among the rice sacks.
The patients Dr. Rick and I saw had infections from nail punctures, lacerations and open wounds from the rubble and debris from the typhoon. Many appeared to have post traumatic stress but all were extremely grateful for the care. Toward the end of the day we met a young man who had lost everything in the typhoon, and then to make matter worse had lost his wallet while trying to get food for his family.
He had a badly infected foot that had been cut by some tin scrap. He needed a tetanus shot, antibiotics and to have his leg cleaned and apply a dressing. He began to weep when I was applying the bandages, not because of the pain, but because of everything he had been through and was going through. We all prayed with him and he left smiling, and returned with his 5-year-old son to be checked out. Fortunately, he just needed reassurance – something so easy to give, so hard to receive by the many victims of the disaster.
Look for more reports from Sue, and hear from Dr. Rick in our next blog installment.
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