Device Industry Assistance in Haiti Continues

Last week, I wrote an editorial for MD+DI's sister publication, Med-Tech Precision, about just a few of the instances in which device manufacturers have taken steps to help out the earthquake victims in Haiti. I wanted to share a couple additional stories that readers sent me with the larger medical device community.

February 1, 2010

2 Min Read
Device Industry Assistance in Haiti Continues

Shortly after the earthquake hit, Covidien sent wound dressings, surgical kits, and gauze to Haiti for distribution. The company will also be delivering a significant donation of pain medications to the region through its pharmaceuticals segment. Through a partnership with Project HOPE, Covidien is providing products for the USNS Comfort, a floating hospital, and the company has donation partners in Haiti and the Dominican Republic in order to supply sutures, patient monitors, and other devices to the area. The company is also matching employee contributions of $25 or more dollar-for-dollar within the United States and is making company contributions to supplement employee donations in other regions of the world, according to Lisa Clemence, media relations manager at Covidien.

Philips Healthcare has been working with Project HOPE and Caritas Christi Health Care to send medical equipment to Haiti. Due to the extensive damage to the main airport in Port-au-Prince, the company found logistics partners CAS Xpress and IBC Airways to fly products into Cap Haitien, which is an airport located on the north coast of Haiti. "In Andover, employees pulled together intensive care monitors, surgical monitors, fetal monitors, vital signs monitors, cardiographs, defibrillators, ventilators, and medical supplies for shipment," according to senior mechanical engineer Daryl Schilke. "On Tuesday, January 19, in the midst of a snowstorm, a Fedex truck pulled out of Andover’s loading dock with 21 pallets of equipment and supplies worth almost $1 million. In addition to that shipment, we are now sending mash unit tents and cots for additional patient needs." Once the products from Philips arrived in Haiti, they were set up at Hopital Sacre Coeur, a 70-bed facility in Milot that is about 70 miles from Port-au-Prince. According to Schilke, the hospital has been receiving patients via U.S. Coast Guard helicopters. It has two operating rooms, a fully-equipped lab, and can house 75 to 100 medical personnel. "It certainly wasn’t easy to get nearly $1 million of equipment and supplies to Haiti in just one week. Hundreds of Philips employees throughout the world worked around the clock to make this happen and cleared many hurdles along the way," says Schilke. "Philips’ mission as a company has always been to improve people’s lives. We can all be proud that we have lived up to that mission for the people of Haiti." --Maria Fontanazza

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