Nepal Aid Update: One Week, Almost 700 Patients

Scripps team continues Nepal earthquake medical assistance

Scripps Medical Response Team in Nepal

Scripps Medical Response Team members request information from Nepali villagers as a part of providing care following the devastating April 2015 earthquake.

Scripps team continues Nepal earthquake medical assistance

A week ago today, five members of the Scripps Medical Response Team left San Diego for Nepal. During their time there since, they’ve split into two teams with members from other health systems and organizations and have been deployed to several remote mountain villages. They have, in this short time, treated almost 700 patients, rebuilt villages and educated villagers about disease prevention.

Treating patients, moving a village

The first team (Tim Collins, corporate vice president of operations and research; Jan Zachry, RN, vice president, chief nursing/operations executive; Debra McQuillen, RN, assistant vice president, cardiovascular services) was back at their base in Gorkha today after returning from the remote mountain village of Singla, and got a real meal after a regular diet of MREs (meals ready to eat). Mission Leader Tim Collins said they have treated 400 patients so far.

Right now, they are spending their time restocking medications and completing documentation on all the patients they’ve seen. They expect to go back out Saturday or Sunday.

The village they have been working in was totally destroyed — so much so that they were actually moving the entire village to a new location. Tim helped villagers rebuild walls so they would have four corners to attach roofs on. In addition to treating patients, many of whom had chronic diseases, the team educated villagers about water, sanitation and hygiene.

Providing care near the quake epicenter

The second team (Patty Skoglund, RN, senior director, disaster/emergency; Steve Miller, RN, senior director, clinical services) was flying out to Lopak last night, a remote village at about 8,500 feet, after having returned from the village of Ree Gaun to their base camp at Dahding yesterday morning. As of Thursday, the team had treated more than 260 patients.

Nurse Patty Skoglund said most of the villagers the team saw had traumatic injuries because these small villages were the closest to the epicenter and sustained devastating damage.

The villagers had been dropped tents and food previously from aircraft flying over, but there had been no medical care since the earthquake until the team arrived.

The team did a lot of wound cleaning, splinting and other medical and trauma work. These villages are on top of very steep mountains and most of the villagers had to walk three to four miles almost straight up or down to get to the medical clinic.

Follow regular updates about the Scripps team’s efforts in Nepal.