Thursday, September 08, 2005

More About Katrina, from Don Chandler, UHMS

To all--

A few updates from our members as they offer help and support to those who are suffering through recovery from this national disaster...

1. Paul Baker reports that Melissa Frosch has been locate and, when he spoke with her, she was well and dry in Bay Town Texas, and on her way to her in-laws home in Oklahoma. Melissa worked in the NBDHMT office with Pauline. Thankfully they are both safe and sound.

2. CO poisoning from misuse of portable generators has begun...just as we feared it would. Mike Donelon, CHT, who is at West Jefferson Medical Center in Harvey, LA reports that they have treated four cases of CO poisoning in the past four days. I sent Mike's report to our contact at the CDC and asked that they somehow spread the word about the danger of using portable generators in closed spaces. CDC responded that the information had been passed to superiors at CDC who will appropriately transmit the information. Previously we had sent our database of hyperbaric facilities to the CDC, at their request, in anticipation that CO poisoning would be an emerging problem as recovery activity gets underway.

3. The USNS Comfort, one of the U.S. Navy's hospital ships has departed for New Orleans (should be there by now) with 397 members of the medical and support staff from the Naval Hospital, Bethesda, MD.

4. Yesterday, you may have heard, 25,000 more body bags were ordered for use in New Orleans. If you read my last update, you will recall that Mary VanMeter said they have already used 10,000 body bags. Sadly, the death toll continues to rise.

5. Our list of available temporary positions for displaced HBO personnel is posted on our website A special thank you goes out to all of you who are offering to take on our displaced colleagues. If you have not offered a position as yet, please give it serious consideration. I am convinced we have not heard the worst of the situation.

6. Dr. Lee Domangue, who was the Medical Director of the Chalmette HBO and Wound Clinic (someone reported it was 20 feet underwater) reports that he, several other doctors, and one nurse remain in Chalmette manning a makeshift medical clinic to treat the severely injured and sick victims as well as the deputies and firemen. Dr. Domangue noted that supplies are now coming in regularly and, as of yesterday, more doctors and nurses were coming in.

That's all for now.