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Podiatrists Tapped As Vital Resource For Global Disaster Relief
Date:4/27/2010

As global number of amputees grows, foot care specialists traveling abroad to save lives

Bethesda, MD (Vocus) -- More than three months after the January 12 earthquake in Haiti, the injuries many sustained in the event are still changing and claiming lives. With the initial earthquake leaving between 4,000-6,000 amputees to combat infection, podiatrists have continued to visit the battered area to help treat amputees and stave off future limb loss. In these types of disaster situations, a podiatrist’s role is considered vital to keeping victims alive.

“We are at the point now where we are seeing post-op infections and wound infections,” said Carrie Gosselink, DPM, a podiatry resident and member of the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) in Jacksonville, FL, who has worked with local Haitian group the CRUDEM Foundation three times in the last year to provide critical medical care in Haiti.

As the number of worldwide amputees continues to rise as a result of natural disasters and complications of epidemics such as diabetes, the foot and ankle care that podiatrists provide is going global more than ever before. Many American podiatrists are traveling to provide aid, and have worked alongside other medical providers in makeshift trauma centers during catastrophes such as the Haiti earthquake.

However, this medical treatment has not been limited to areas affected by natural disasters. Many podiatrist groups regularly plan trips overseas to provide and educate those in need of proper foot care. Like many other podiatrists working with local relief organizations, Dr. Gosselink previously traveled with a team of providers from the University of Florida’s Shands Hospital-Jacksonville before the Haiti earthq
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