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HHS Emergency Response in Haiti: Summary Report, Jan. 19

U.S. Department of Health and Humans Services’ (HHS) medical response teams continue to provide medical care in Haiti at several locations, including at a soccer field near a GHESKIO clinic in Port-au-Prince and at the U.S. embassy.  These teams are part of the international medical response led by the United Nations that are responding to request for assistance from the Haitian government.

Approximately 265 HHS medical personnel on the ground in Haiti. These doctors, nurses, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, and other health professionals are part of the National Disaster Medical System and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.  These HHS medical teams came from around the U.S., including Georgia, California, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Florida.  HHS activated the National Disaster Medical System and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps to assist in Haitian earthquake relief efforts.

Current HHS missions include hospital augmentation, care at the embassy, providing an assessment to assist the Haitian government with fatality management, and providing technical assistance in public health.  

HHS response updates today include:

As of Monday, Jan. 18, HHS medical teams had treated over 1800 patients since they began providing patient care in Haiti.

  • The most common medical conditions being treated are traumatic injuries and exacerbations of chronic disease.
  • More than 4,500 Americans returning from Haiti have been assisted so far.

National Disaster Medical System Teams

Currently a Disaster Medical Assistance Team and the International Medical Surgical Response Team are providing patient care using temporary medical stations set up in a soccer field near a GHESKIO clinic in Port-au-Prince. Members of another Disaster Medical Assistance Team are providing care at the embassy.

More than 300 patients were seen Jan. 17 at a Haitian orphanage, most with acute medical problems. The teams reported treating more than 1,800 people as of Monday, including delivering a baby outside the embassy on Monday and performing surgery on a child aboard USS Carl Vinson on Sunday.

Personnel from a Disaster Mortuary Operations Response Team are assessing the situation on the ground to assist to assist the Haitian government with fatality management. 

Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (PHS)

An HHS Incident Response Coordination Team is coordinating the HHS response on the ground to provide medical assistance for the people of Haiti at this critical time.

Public health experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are providing technical assistance to the Haitian government to help determine public health needs of the impacted area and how to prevent food-borne and water-borne diseases as well as other diseases seen following disasters.

Administration for Children and Families’ Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR)

ORR continues to receive, repatriate, and provide services to American citizens being flown to the United States military bases. After the planes land, the travelers are assessed for immediate needs, including medical attention, food, short-term lodging, transportation and logistics for their onward flight in the U.S.   More than 4,500 Americans returning from Haiti have been assisted so far. ORR has also assisted in uniting Haitian orphans with adoptive U.S. parents.

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