Quake Relief Task Force Treats 200 Patients in First Three Hours
By Senior Airman Shaun Emery, USAF
Special to American Forces Press Service
PISCO, Peru, Aug. 19, 2007 Medical personnel from Joint Task Force Bravo deployed here from Soto Cano Air Base in Honduras saw more than 200 patients during their first three hours of operation yesterday and expect to see many more in the next week.
Air Force Maj. Joseph Hallock, a pediatric nurse practitioner for Joint Task Force Bravo’s medical element at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, provides an oral exam to a patient during the task force’s medical humanitarian mission to Pisco, Peru, following a magnitude 8.0 earthquake that devastated the region Aug. 15, 2007. Photo by Spc. Grant Vaught, USA
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
The medical team deployed from Soto Cano the morning of Aug. 17 to provide humanitarian relief following an Aug. 15 magnitude 8.0 earthquake. The team is scheduled to remain in Peru treating the displaced, hungry and sick for seven days.
In a small stadium in the middle of town, the medical personnel set up to provide basic medications and medical care.
The Soto Cano servicemembers brought a mobile surgical team to treat possible traumas, but the trauma cases have been few and far between.
“We saw a lot of respiratory illness and bruises the first day,” said Air Force Tech. Sgt. Melissa Walker, an independent duty medical technician deployed to Soto Cano from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. “We thought we might see worse, but luckily these are the majority of cases we diagnosed.”
Each day the team arrives with enough medicine to treat up to 350 people.
“We are trying to see as many people as possible each day,” said Army Maj. (Dr.) Richard Malish, a flight surgeon from Soto Cano. “Right now, we haven't seen any traumas, so our goal is to get the people medicine for their aches and pains to make them more comfortable day to day.”
(Air Force Senior Airman Shaun Emery is assigned to Joint Task Force-Bravo Public Affairs.)