Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Local Hospitals to Receive Injured Haitians

11 hospitals in Pennsylvania including West Penn Allegheny Health System, UPMC and Jefferson Regional Medical Center, will be receiving injured Haitians badly in need of treatment after the devastating earthquake 3 weeks ago. Governor Ed Rendell says the state received a call last week from federal officials asking Pennsylvania to accept Haitian trauma patients and he responded with a letter saying Pennsylvania stands ready..."Despite the efforts of American and foreign doctors and nurses who have gone to Haiti and set up field hospitals, some Haitian patients are so severely injured that they cannot get adequate treatment in Haiti. And the Haitian government has asked the United States government to accept those patients for treatment in American hospitals."
Carolyn Scanlan, president of the Hospital and Health System Association of Pennsylvania, says the patients have long-term acute care needs such as "severe head injuries, spinal cord injuries. They have amputations as a result of being crushed. They are paraplegics, quadriplegics as a result of their injuries."
The governor says he's hoping the federal government will cover the expenses of the hospital but if not, they will seek private contributions.
The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare has located housing resources to shelter the escorts for the patients and local social service agencies are preparing to help with translation, food and clothing needs.

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