Dennis Amundson, DO, MS; Greg Dadekian, MD; Mill Etienne, MD, MPH; Todd Gleeson, MD, MPH; Thomas Hicks, MD; Dermot Killian, MBBS; Kristina Kratovil, MD; Chris Lewis, MD; Michael Monsour, MD; Bret Pasiuk, MD; Dolores Rhodes, MD; Edward J. Miller, MD, PhD
On 12 January 2010, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake devastated the island nation of Haiti, leading to the world's largest humanitarian effort in over 6 decades. The catastrophe caused massive destruction of homes and buildings and overwhelmed the Haitian health care system. The United States responded immediately with a massive relief effort, sending U.S. military forces and civilian volunteers to Haiti's aid and providing a tertiary care medical center aboard the USNS COMFORT hospital ship. The COMFORT offered sophisticated medical care to a geographically isolated population and helped to transfer resource-intensive patients from other treatment facilities. Working collaboratively with the surgical staff, ancillary services, and nursing staff, internists aboard the COMFORT were integral to supporting the mission of the hospital ship and provided high-level care to the casualties. This article provides the perspective of the U.S. Navy internists who participated in the initial response to the Haitian earthquake disaster onboard the COMFORT.
Back row (left to right): Todd Gleeson, MD, MPH; Dolores Rhodes, MD; Chris Lewis, MD; Greg Dadekian, MD; Edward Miller, MD, PhD; Michael Monsour, MD; Thomas Hicks, MD; Dennis Amundson, DO, MS. Front row (left to right): Mill Etienne, MD, MPH; Kristina Kratovil, MD; Bret Pasiuk, MD. Not pictured: Dermot Killian, MBBS.
The total USNS COMFORT census includes patients on adult and pediatric wards and intensive care units. Top. Intensive care unit admissions per day, census, and cumulative number of intensive care unit admissions for the first 14 days of Haitian patient reception onboard the USNS COMFORT during Operation Unified Response. The peak number of intensive care unit admissions (n= 17) occurred on 25 January 2010, and the peak total census (n= 44) occurred on 27 January 2010. Bottom. Total USNS COMFORT admissions and discharges per day, census, and cumulative number of admissions during the same period depicted in the top part of the figure. The peak number of admissions was 104 on 21 January 2010, and peak total patient census (excluding patient escorts) was 433 on 28 January 2010.
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Amundson D, Dadekian G, Etienne M, Gleeson T, Hicks T, Killian D, et al. Practicing Internal Medicine Onboard the USNS COMFORT in the Aftermath of the Haitian Earthquake. Ann Intern Med. ;152:733–737. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-152-11-201006010-00215
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2010;152(11):733-737.
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