A team of nurses, doctors and support staff will travel from San Diego to Nepal this week to help those injured or displaced by Saturday’s devastating earthquake.
Chris VanGorder, President and Chief Executive Officer for Scripps Health, said the medical response team was put on standby several days ago and received their deployment orders Tuesday afternoon.
The team of 16 people will be gone for 21 days and will include nurses, doctors and a small support team that will fly out Thursday or Friday. It will include members from Stanford University, Harvard University and Scripps.
"Really the first setup is going to be a trauma team," VanGorder said. "It's going to be very much like what we saw in Haiti after the earthquake. We're going to see crush injuries, a lot of orthopedic injuries, internal injuries, those types of things."
In Nepal, aid workers describe entire villages reduced to rubble along the edges of the epicenter.
"In some villages, about 90 percent of the houses have collapsed. They're just flattened," said Rebecca McAteer, an American physician who rushed to the quake zone from the distant Nepal hospital where she works.
Across central Nepal, including the capital of Kathmandu, hundreds of thousands of people are living in the open without clean water or sanitation more than three days after the quake.
On Tuesday, the country's confirmed death toll rose to 4,680.
Some 8,063 people have been injured, according to official estimates. Tens of thousands are believed to be homeless.
Now, the highly-trained Scripps Health Medical Response Team is heading to Nepal to help. The group of 16 nurses, physicians and support staff will leave Thursday or Friday to staff a mobile field hospital that’s being delivered to Nepal.
The Scripps team will likely be there for three weeks and the company said there is the potential of sending a second team, if needed.
International Medical Corps (IMC) is coordinating the effort with teams from Scripps, Stanford and Harvard.