Five Haitian earthquake victims, including an 18-month-old with brain injuries, were airlifted Tuesday night to Dobbins Air Force Base for treatment at area hospitals. As many as 45 more patients are expected to arrive by week's end.
"When things like this happen, we're ready," said Kevin Bloye, spokesman for the Georgia Hospital Association, which coordinates local disaster preparedness efforts. A network of metro area hospitals will be accepting the injured, including Atlanta Medical Center, which admitted a 24-year-old Haitian male last night at 10:40 p.m. AMC spokeswoman Kendra Gerlach could not be specific about his injuries but said the man sustained significant fractures and was evaluated by the hospital's trauma team. He's listed in serious condition.
Atlanta Medical is prepared to receive more patients from Haiti in the days ahead, Gerlach said. The participating hospitals were told there would be a flight a day to Dobbins for four days, with each carrying between 10 and 15 patients, considerably more than earlier reports.
The first five were airlifted from the USNS Comfort, a Naval hospital ship deployed to Haiti to assist in the massive recovery effort. Accompanied by a member of Haiti's military, they landed at the Cobb County base around 9:45 p.m. Florida had been handling the bulk of the injured Haitians transported to the U.S., but this is the first group headed for Georgia, Dobbins spokesman Jim Weslowski told the Associated Press.
Grady Memorial Hospital was also preparing to receive some of the patients from Haiti, spokesman Matt Gove said, though he was told the first wouldn't arrive until Wednesday.
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