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AAOS focuses on disaster responders, both yesterday's and tomorrow's
Date:2/10/2012

When mass-casualty events occur, orthopaedic surgeons travel throughout the world to treat wounded patients in countries devastated by war, natural disaster and poverty. In 2010, 500 U.S. orthopaedic surgeons traveled to Haiti to help treat hundreds of thousands of victims following a catastrophic earthquake on that Caribbean island. And while the effort was generally successful in treating the broken bones, fractures and other orthopaedic injuries associated with earthquakes, not all of the volunteers were adequately prepared to work in a devastated country.

"Individual physicians arrived without food, equipment, transportation and personal security, or an assignment," said Christopher T. Born, MD, who co-chaired the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS)/Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA) Disaster Preparedness Project Team.

To ensure that orthopaedic surgeons are appropriately trained and optimally utilized under grueling conditions, AAOS has established a new credentialing process for doctors who plan to travel internationally to disaster sites. The new Disaster Responders Certification Program for Orthopaedic Surgeons, formally announced during the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), is a partnership between AAOS, OTA, and the Society of Military Orthopaedic Surgeons (SOMOS). The program is the first medical association-led effort to officially train and certify physicians to treat the victims of international disasters.

The first Disaster Responders training was held in December 2011 at the SOMOS meeting in San Diego. A second session is scheduled for February 6 and 7, 2012 at the AAOS Annual Meeting. Subsequent trainings will be held throughout the year.

About the Certification Program

AAOS will maintain a database of AAOS-certified Disaster Responders, as well as a page on the Academy's website with pertinent and ongoing program updates.

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Contact: Lauren Pearson Riley
pearson@aaos.org
847-384-4031
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Source:Eurekalert

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