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A medical evacuation plane touched down early Sunday morning in Philadelphia with the four victims. These are the only Haitians to be flown in to the United States thus far for treatment after the earthquake.
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Their injuries were so severe, doctors originally believed one patient wouldn’t survive the flight.
When they arrived at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, all four, three women and one child, were in very critical condition.
Two of the three women each had one leg amputated.
Doctors say one, who remains in critical condition, will need to undergo almost daily surgeries because of infection and subsequent organ failure. The two other women are in stable condition.
“I can only thank my colleagues in the trauma service, the emergency medicine department, and the orthopedics for what was an extraordinary response,” Dr. Richard Shannon of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania said.
The treatment and care by the hospital is a trial of sorts.
Government and health officials want to see if flying people to the US is a viable and productive way to care for those severely injured.
The doctors that spoke at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania believe it is and are ready to help more patients.
“My hopes is that this is just the start of many people who can be evacuated out and get into the safety net hospitals and the trauma centers of the United States and have the kind of care that is available to all of us,” Dr. Bill Schwab of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania said.
The three women are being treated at HUP.
A 4½-year-old boy is being treated the Children Hospital of Philadelphia. He is there with his father and is expected to survive his injuries.