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The medical heroes of the Oklahoma tragedy

May 23, 2013
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Saint James School of Medicine would like to express our sympathy to the people of Oklahoma in the wake of Monday’s tornado. We would also like to express our respect and gratitude to the medical personnel of the Red Cross and the doctors and medical staff at the surrounding hospitals that treated the 237 people injured in the tornado. Tragically many of the injured were children, hurt when the tornado hit Plaza Towers elementary school. The team at the Children's Hospital at the Oklahoma University Medical Center in Oklahoma City set up a triage center within the hospital to handle over 50 injured children that flooded into the hospital in the wake of the storm. The Los Angeles Times reports how doctors first treated the less serious injuries to make way for the severely injured. A review of research over the past 50 years found that head injuries are responsible for the majority of tornado deaths.  However Roxie Albrecht, trauma medical director at the OU Medical Center, said Monday's storm was unusual because there were not as many head or traumatic brain injuries. The LA Times writes that Albrecht said the injuries of adult patients ranged from minor — cuts and bruises, people wet and suffering from hypothermia — to "major, severe injuries." The major injuries included open wounds, impalements and broken bones. There were also "degloving" injuries, in which skin is peeled from the tissue. A tragedy like the Oklahoma Tornado emphasizes yet again the vital importance of well trained medical professionals and physicians. Everyday these quiet heroes work behind the scenes to save lives and help the sick and wounded. After a disaster like Monday’s storm the spotlight shines on the physicians picking up the pieces, but once the eye of the media has moved on, they carry on their important work, quietly healing the people of America. We salute all the men and women that practice medicine. Thank you for your dedication, your commitment and your compassion.
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