Monday, September 12, 2005

Hurricane Update from UHMS (Don Chandler)

To all--

Our list of available jobs...both temporary and growing. More are being added today and we have at least three physician positions that are in the planning stage and cannot be posted as yet. To those of you who have let us post available positions, your generosity is overwhelming! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

We have head from some of our members as things progress in the LA and MS regions that were so devastated by Hurricane Katrina. The following are summaries of what we have to pass on to you...

1. Dr. Donn Bowers of Memorial Hospital at Gulfport, MS reports that the "...Hyperbaric and Wound Care Department is up and running for any and all." Sandra Stillman also reported this good news.

2. Chris Morrison, MD, CWS, UHM of Tierra Verde, FL, a board-certified physician in both Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine is willing to volunteer his services as a physician (or any other capacity that may be needed) in any of the stricken areas. Contact Dr. Morrison at (727) 644-3038 (Cell); (727) 867-5480 (office); (727) 867-2880 (home) or you can email him at (home email) or (office email).

3. Anthony Johnston, BSN, of Liberty MO is curious if anyone needed short term help to get up and running or with supplemental staffing. Contact Anthony at Telephone: (816) 407-2045.

4. Dr. Jim Caruso is at the Armed Forces Medical Examiner's office and reports that they are tightly involved with the deaths and have DNA collection teams in both LA and MS. He noted that it is not true that they have used 10,000 body bags so far. He said that while the death toll may climb into the thousands, it is nowhere near there yet. He has daily teleconferences with the morgues down there and reports that MS has about 200 in the morgue so far and LA has not hit 1,000. Clearly, our Armed Forces are at work helping in many areas as our nation recovers from this tragedy.

5. Tom Schmidt reports that Dr. Irving "Jake" Jacoby, a UHMS member since 1985, is part of a DMAT from San Diego County. Dr. Jacoby's team is working with other disaster medical assistance teams from across the country. Their first assignment was to the Baton Rouge area. On August 31st he reported that "'s an ongoing disaster." They were preparing to take care of patients who were evacuated from area hospitals that were flooded. By 3 September, Jake and his team had been assigned to the Louis Armstrong Airport where they helped turn the Delta Blue terminal into a triage unit. 3,000 to 5,000 patients had been treated at the triage unit and at the time the report was taken, only about 200 remained. Dr. Jacoby said, "In the beginning it was like trying to lasso an octopus. When we got here it was overwhelming." Airport director Roy Williams said about 30 people had died, some of them elderly and ill. The bodies were being kept in refrigerated trucks as a temporary morgue. By 5 September Dr. Leonard Rubinstein said that there were still a lot of desperate people to treat. He mentioned one case where a woman walked in for help with a broken jaw an fractured skull. The lady had waited in her hotel room for as long as she could stand it after the storm. When she stepped outside her door to look for help, somebody hit her in the head with a rifle butt, knocked her unconscious and raped her. Dr. Rubinstein and staff stabilized her and splinted her and medevaced her by helicopter. He also reported their concern for the psychotics who have gone without medication for six days or more, some of whom have already created big problems at the airport. "One of my nurses got stabbed in the back by a psychotic patient. No medication." Rubinstein said. Jake Jacoby reported that they even treated a patient with an alligator bite.

Thank God for these heroes who are helping make sense out of chaos!

6. As reported earlier, CO poisoning will become a BIG problem as recovery and rebuilding continues. We now know of 8 cases. Dr. Kelly Hill reported that he has treated four patients from the classical "run the generator in the house so it won't get wet" types. I sent Dr. Neil Hampson's paper on CO poisoning to the CDC last week...I can only hope they read it and help spread the word about the danger of running portable generators in enclosed spaces. Both Reimers Systems and Tom Fox have offered to each move a mobile HBO unit to where ever they may be needed...these offers, too, were sent to the CDC.

That's it for now. Please help spread the word about the jobs that have been offered for people displaced by Hurricane Katrina...send them to our website: