Parkite is bound for Haiti
February 16, 2010
A patient care technician at the Park City Medical Center said he will board a flight bound for Haiti next week to assist a team of doctors treating patients who were badly injured in last month’s earthquake.
"This will be my first time going to an area like this that has been devastated by a natural or manmade disaster," said Old Town resident George Goodman, who is 31 years old.
Goodman said he will be part of a medical team working in one of the largest private hospitals in northern Haiti, which typically has about 70 beds.
Today, nearly 350 people are also receiving treatment at a makeshift clinic next door.
"Having 400 patients in a hospital area that is designed for 60 or 70 is going to be intense," Goodman said. "Everywhere you look you are going to see patients who need help."
He will travel alongside his sister, a pediatrician at the non-profit Crudem Foundation, which operates the Haitian hospital.
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"She was basically approached by a surgery team that wanted a pediatrician or two to come with them on their trip down to Haiti and to provide pre- and post-op care for the patients," Goodman said.
"The minute we get there we are set up and really ready to start helping. There are about 15 people total on the trip who will be together as one team."
The leader of the group is a plastic surgeon from the East Coast.
"There will be a lot of wound cleaning and wound care, dressing changes, monitoring infections and cuts and that kind of stuff," he said. "The surgery teams there will be doing a lot of limb revisions."
Goodman, the only Utahn on the surgical team, said he expects to care for hundreds of patients while abroad.
"Wounds are being infected and people didn’t get their bones set right," Goodman said. "If you have an injury and it sits for a week or two and it doesn’t get care, it can get infected really easily. It’s going to look a lot different than a fresh wound that happened a few hours ago."
The earthquake Jan. 12 destroyed hospitals in Haiti.
"People still need a lot of help," Goodman said. "I know the earthquake happened a while ago but it will take so much time to recover from."
His working hours in Haiti will be long, he added.
"You’re working really hard," Goodman said. "I’m happy to be going with a team that’s really well organized. I think we have a clear mission and goal."
When he returns from Haiti Goodman said he will look at colleges to continue his education in nursing.
"I’m interested in doing more of these trips, being able to go to areas that have been affected by natural disasters and help out for a while," Goodman said.
According to Park City Medical Center spokeswoman Amy Roberts, "that is why we all got into health care, is to help people."
"We commend George for stepping up and taking this on," Roberts said. "We realize not everyone can do something like this, but we do believe that all of our employees can do something."