A total of 22 patients were on board the Air Force flight that landed at Tampa International Airport on Jan. 27, 2010, including 21 Haitians and one U.S. citizen that was reportedly ill.
Published: January 28, 2010
TAMPA - A plane carrying 21 injured Haitians and an ill U.S. citizen arrived in Tampa on Wednesday night about 24 hours after 15 other evacuees from the quake-ravaged nation were flown in for treatment.
The latest arrivals ranged in age from 3 months to 47 years, including two in very critical and unstable condition.
An intensive care medical team tended to those patients during the flight from Haiti to Tampa International Airport.
Most of the patients had injuries similar to the first 15 evacuees in Tampa: broken bones, burns and spinal injuries with paralysis, Tampa Fire Rescue said.
The 3-month-old girl had serious burns on her face and upper body, the fire department said.
In addition to the patients, 11 other people, mostly family members of young patients, were aboard the C-130.
While in Haiti, seven of the patients were treated aboard the hospital ship U.S.S. Comfort; the others were treated at field hospitals.
Paramedics from Tampa Fire Rescue along with doctors and nurses from the Medical Reserve Corps evaluated the patients at the Tampa airport before they were taken to local hospitals.
One evacuee with serious spinal injuries was flown to Shands hospital in Gainesville.
Five of the patients went to Tampa General Hospital. The rest went to other hospitals in the Tampa Bay area.
Tampa General admitted nine evacuees Tuesday with conditions ranging from fair to serious, hospital spokesman John Dunn said Wednesday of the first group. Some have burns; others have more serious trauma, Dunn said.
"They were very badly injured patients. Many of them are in the intensive care unit," emergency medicine physician Catherine Carrubba said.
Those patients range in age from 4 to 43. Employees who speak Creole are translating for doctors and nurses, Dunn said.
Those 15 evacuees arrived on a C-130 about 9 p.m. Tuesday. Two people on the flight were military personnel requiring medical attention. Most of the injured had broken bones; some had undergone amputations, officials said.
"When they landed, they were quiet, they were thankful, they were very respectful," Carrubba said. "It was a group of people that was very relieved to see that there was some civilization at the other end of their journey."
Celillon Alteme, a chaplain at Tampa General Hospital, served as a translator for some of the patients. Alteme said one of the patients had stopped to get gas for a car when the earthquake struck. The vehicle burst into flames.
"My hope for them is to get better, physically and emotionally, before they can get home," Alteme said.
Most of the Haitian citizens will need to find temporary accommodations in Tampa while they recuperate, Alteme said.
Other hospitals that took in evacuees include University Community Hospital, St. Joseph's Hospital and the James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital in Tampa and Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, authorities said