Mainers prepare to help Haiti amputees

Even as initial responders to the Haitian earthquake struggle to get food, water and medical care to survivors, some Mainers are working to prepare long-term help for hundreds who were maimed in the disaster.

Adam Cote, a former congressional candidate, is heading to Haiti on Monday with a group from the company he works for, Global Relief Technologies, to gather data on amputees who need artificial limbs. He will use the technology the company designs to collect names, addresses and medical data, make measurements of damaged limbs, snap photos and generate wrist bands with bar codes that will help doctors and nurses identify the patients and access their records.

The information will be sent to New England Brace, a New Hampshire-based company with an office in Lewiston, which plans to lead an effort to provide prosthetics for the injured.

Cote, who lives in Portland, said the company is donating the time and equipment. He plans to be in Haiti for up to two weeks, working with Helping Hands for Haiti, a group that has been staffing hospitals and building schools in the impoverished country for about a decade. The organization’s hospitals were destroyed in the earthquake, but it has set up field hospitals in the capital, Port-au-Prince, which was devastated by the quake, Cote said.

“They are telling us there are probably 2,500 to 3,000 amputees” who will need help, Cote said.

Click here for the rest of “Mainers prepare to help Haiti amputees” by the Portland Press Herald’s Edward E. Murphy.

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