Haiti Earthquake

South Florida Medical Help Reaches Remote Area of Earthquake-Stricken Haiti

"Every day we are finding new communities who haven’t been contacted yet," one South Florida doctor said.

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South Florida residents with loved ones living in southwest Haiti can gain some comfort knowing that those seriously injured who survived the earthquake are now being brought to safety - one by one.

Dr. Vincent DeGennaro Jr., who works with Innovating Health International and travels frequently from South Florida to Haiti, is one of the physicians there now treating patients as they arrive.

"There are a lot of crush injuries— a lot of broken bones—a lot of fractures where the bones are sticking out of the skin so that can lead to infection," Dr. DeGennaro said.

For DeGennaro and the other medical experts their biggest challenge is getting to remote areas.

"Every day we are finding new communities who haven’t been contacted yet. Today we just found a  place that has four dozen patients who are injured," Dr. DeGennaro said.

In a small western village about 90 miles from Port Au Prince it is the first time they have seen any type of help come their way, primarily because of the mountain range in the area. Weather had also prevented the Coast Guard from being able to fly to the location. 

"Once again they are being challenged by another devastating disaster," Brennan Banks of the Community Organized Relief Effort said.

Banks, who lives in Fort Lauderdale, is working on Haiti relief with the group called Core. 

"We witnessed an elderly man with a broken hip who again had not been seen or treated . We were able to give him basic assistance and refer him to the hospital and that's the priority for our teams right now reaching those hard hit areas," Banks said.

Many of the families have little to begin with.

"Numerous numbers of families (are) living outside because their homes have been damaged or destroyed," Banks said.

Relief supplies are starting to trickle in and organizers are sending items from South Florida.   Banks recommends making donations to organizations you thoroughly check out.  

DeGennaro realizes while there may be a rush to help now that will fade, and the long term care those who’ve had their lives turned upside down  will be hard to come by.

For a look at how you can help victims of the Haiti earthquake, click here.

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