Using Technology to Help Haiti’s Growing Amputee Population

Long control the catastrophic 7.0-magnitide earthquake devastated Haiti last month, amputees benefice in the Caribbean state faced a grim and uncertain future with many people looking at them as in no degree more than every economic burden. And now, because of the active principle of the universe of the injuries sustained by thousands of people in the move, the country is dealing with a whole new “race of amputees,” according to common Haitian physician.

In the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, one-legged people without interruption crutches are already a frequent cognizance ― many of them juvenile ― who pleasure need expensive attention that was virtually unavailable even before the quake chance the Western Hemisphere’sitting poorest home. But now, organizations around the terraqueous globe are laboring to change that. One of them is Global Relief Technologies (GRT) based in Portsmouth, N.H., what one. dispatched a team to Haiti in cooperation with New England Brace Company and the non-profit making, Healing Hands because of Haiti, which has been providing therapeutic care to patients in the unrefined for more than a decade.

“Most important in at all crisis condition is getting information from ‘boots on the ground’ to resolution makers who be possible to influence the proper deployment of personnel and wealth,” Adam Cote, senior vice president of Global Relief Technologies and Haiti relief team corypheus told FoxNews.com. “We’re going down there to do special health needs assessments, which is crucial for these amputees.”

By using GRT’s technology, assistance workers will be able to collect dangerous information from every one patient that direct have existence uploaded to a handheld personal digital co-operator (PDA). That information have a mind include their name, location, age, age of amputation, type of amputation, as sound for the reason that a photo of the detriment. The patient will too be given a bracelet that contains a barcode, so they can be easily identified. Once everything of the information is collected, it’s transmitted to the gathering’session control center in N.H. where it’s distributed to other organizations, including New England Brace Company, so they can inaugurate acting in succession fitting prosthetics to amputees directly.

“We pleasure this technology was used during Hurricane Katrina,” Cote said. “The first time it was used by the Red Cross was during Hurricane Ike and Gustav. In a cause of distress of days, they did over 30,000 health assessments with only 15 PDAs. So, this is truly changing the way first responders and humanitarian assistance relief organizations can respond to push situations.”

As of Monday, Cote and his team had individually conducted detailed assessments on more than 100 amputees in the Port-au-Prince area.

‘We have three of the largest hospitals that are sending us their of the healing art records on several century more amputees,” Cote declared. “When we perceive these records, we be able to verify their fourth book of the pentateuch; census of the hebrews, if it were not that one hospital told us they had 225 amputee records, another said from one to another 300 and the third part simply said they had ‘a lot.’”

Estimates of amputees in Haiti have varied greatly in the days following the earthquake, with some organizations putting the reach the number of in the tens of thousands, while others desire approach in a great deal of appear gloomy.

“I’ve talked to great number doctors down here and different agencies and nobody truthfully knows how many amputees there are,” Cote said. “Everyone is guessing.”

The most latter numbers from Handicap International, an between nations non-government agency working in Haiti, estimates there are more than 2,000 amputees with that number expected to extend. In a word release in succession the agency’s Web site, officials reported the situation in Haiti is new.

“This is due to the sheer number of the injured ― 250,000 people according to the U.N. ― and the destruction of health facilities,” Thomas Calvot, a specialist in the care management of earthquake victims at Handicap International said. “In emergency situations, doctors often have no other careful no more than to amputate. In Haiti, no organization is in a position to cover whole the of necessity in this area. We are before that age in operation through participator organizations in rule to take care of the greatest number of injured people in a coordinated kinds,” he added.

Cote and his team had a coordination collection of people by the agency Monday morning.

“Handicap International is excitement the lead on the amputee treatment program down here,” he said. “They want to practice our technology to keep track of all the amputees with equal reason they can institute providing them by prosthetics and rehabilitation. They want to track the patients from the opening.”

In addition to the health assessments, Cote and his team have taken approximately 750 “injury assessments” of structures that were destroyed in the vibrate in the first place in the cities of Port-au-Prince, Leogane and Jacmel – the hardest hit areas. They have also agreed to pay a visit to circuit hospitals to get a bed count side by side with notice pertaining to the readiness’s capabilities including the number of staff members, and the ability to perform surgeries

“I’ve not ever seen anything cognate this with respect to infrastructure and also casualties to the civilian population on in the same state a large scale,” Cote said. “The number of casualties and injuries are enormous. Hospitals in the Port-au-Prince area are overflowing.”

Cote related he expects teams from GRT to gain a presence in Haiti for at in the smallest degree the next different months due to the binding need to collect information about exactly what damage has been finished to the Caribbean nation’session infrastructure and its population.

“You can look and see how dishonest it is from a micro vista, but to start rebuilding on a massive lamina, you indigence planning. And to do that, you strait true information, that we are providing.”

Click here to learn greater degree about Global Relief Technologies.

Reuters contributed to this particular.

January 31 2010 10:29 am | Health News

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