Lawrence Bone, M.D., Professor and Department of Orthopaedics Chair, has recently returned from Haiti where he served as a trauma surgeon aboard the USNS Comfort Naval Hospital Ship. Dr. Bone was one of ten surgeons from the Orthopaedic Trauma Association who volunteered their time in treating victims of the January 2010 Haitian earthquake.
Physicians treated over 875 patients, ranging from newborn to 89 years of age; 90 percent of these had one or more orthopaedic injuries. The USNS Comfort has a 910 bed capacity, a 90 bed ICU, and 12 operating rooms. Over 630 operative cases were performed on the ship.
Dr. Bone and his colleagues from the OTA performed over 200 operations between February 3-15, 2010.- from the UB Reporter
Bone, Chair of UB’s Department of Orthopaedics and an orthopaedic trauma surgeon at Erie County Medical Center, recalled treating earthquake victims aboard the USNS Comfort, saying that many may have been disabled for the rest of their lives without the care he and fellow physicians provided. He showed a lower-body x-ray of a girl or young woman whose injuries, without surgery, would have left her unable to bear children and with a left leg four inches short.
“Multiple fractures in one limb, and this was patient after patient,” Bone said. “So, I was very fortunate to be in a situation where we had modern equipment and a full staff to support us, to be able to manage what was, for me, after 30 years of dealing with trauma, the most overwhelming experience I’ve ever had.”