Medical aid helps burn patients recover
Some seven months after the Beirut port explosion in Lebanon, the aftermath remains very much present in the minds — and bodies — of many who call Beirut home.
Survivors have been left with trauma and, in many cases, serious injuries like severe burns that can become life-threatening if not adequately treated. To treat patients with severe burns, Anera has collaborated with the Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB), an international NGO that provides aid to communities embedded in poverty and challenged by unequal access to healthcare.
Thanks to a generous medical aid donation from CMMB Anera recently distributed medical supplies, including 10 packs of a type of burn pads known as dermal regeneration template. Physicians use the material to regenerate the dermal skin layer in order to perform an epidermal skin graft for burn victims.
Dr. Jamie Bejjani, a pharmacist at Anera, says,
“I met a patient with extensive burns from the blast. Looking at her own scars transported her back to the dreadful event. With this medical aid for reconstructive treatment, not only can she heal physically, it may help her move on psychologically as well.”
“We have a duty to those injured and burned.”
The explosion of ammonium nitrate at Beirut’s port injured more than 6,500 people, many of whom suffered varying degrees of burns and could have lasting scars from their burns.
Hospitals, already struggling to manage the economic crisis and coronavirus pandemic, were swamped with injured victims. Some medical facilities were badly damaged and had to be evacuated altogether.
Dr. William Watfa, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon and chief of plastic surgery at the Saint George University Medical Center, says,
“COVID-19 hampered hospital activity and forced us to pause some important medical procedures. With reconstructive surgery, some activities simply cannot be postponed. We have a duty to those injured and burned to perform the most time-sensitive procedures.”
To respond to this catastrophe that continues to affect many victims, many humanitarian initiatives have been able to help.
Anera linked the donation of Integra Dermal Regeneration Template to St. George Hospital in Achrafiye, which was severely damaged by the explosion. This treatment may permanently regenerate dermal skin, reduce scarring and ensure a fast healing process.
The donation will be used for severe burn cases where the skin was totally burned, like cases of second or third degree burns. The treatment includes a process of a skin transplant taken from a donor or from an unaffected part of the victim's body.
“We were one of the major hospitals to be affected by the blast, but got back online extremely quickly. We were able to use Anera’s donation to help us reconstruct skin where it had been burned away and give traumatized victims a second chance. We really thank you for your contribution, and for being responsive to our urgent needs during this time.”