Czech trauma team to help survivors in Nepal

Photo: CTK

A 30-member Czech trauma team is ready to be flown out to Kathmandu to join the extensive rescue operation in the wake of Saturday’s devastating earthquake. The team will be deployed upon arrival and is expected to start working within an hour of setting up base.

Photo: CTK
The trauma team made up of 13 firefighters, nine doctors and ten nurses are expected to be placed somewhere in Gorkha district, the epicenter of the devastating earthquake where Nepalese and international rescue teams are desperately working to reach survivors in time. The task of the Czech trauma team will be to stabilize patients and provide the necessary medical aid ahead of their transfer to hospital. Most of the team members have helped in natural disasters elsewhere and are used to working in emergency conditions in tents. They will be deployed in a given location upon arrival in Kathmandu and will have an hour to set up a field hospital before starting work. The head of the team, chief surgeon Petr Nestrojil from Brno’s Teaching Hospital told Czech Radio what the team would be doing.

“Our main job will be to resuscitate and stabilize survivors. We expect to see a lot of fractures and open wounds but, from what I was able to see on the Internet, the dwellings did not fall sideways but collapsed straight down meaning that we are likely to see a lot of serious internal injuries as well. And of course many survivors may have badly infected wounds depending on the length of time before they were rescued and given medical treatment.”

The field hospital will consist of seven large tents –five of which will serve for treating patients with light and moderate injuries. Since hospitals in the region are overcrowded the Czech team wants to have 14 beds where patients can stay for up to two days before a place in hospital can be found for them.

Photo: CTK
The team is fully equipped for a two-week mission, but their stay may be extended by another two weeks should the need arise. Meanwhile at least two Czech charity NGOs, ADRA and People in Need already have aid workers operating in the area and have launched fund-raising campaigns in aid of the earthquake victims. The Czech government is covering the cost of the Czech trauma team, having earmarked twenty million crowns in emergency aid, and is also prepared to send humanitarian aid.

Ten Czechs still remain unaccounted for in the Himalayas and those who are still in the country have been offered the use of a government funded flight to take them back to the Czech Republic.