Posted By Ted Wendel, Volunteer Public Affairs Officer on the Ground in Texas on September 12, 2017

Labels: United States , Disaster-Relief, Volunteers

Saving Lives in Texas - Hurricane Harvey

A timely intervention by a Project HOPE volunteer working in the Hurricane Harvey disaster zone might just have saved a life today.

Lindsey Ryan-Martin, a nurse practitioner from Massachusetts General Hospital saw a patient at the San Jose Clinic in Rosenberg, Texas.

A routine check showed the patient’s blood pressure was very elevated and required immediate attention.

“Stress levels are high after a disaster like Harvey and some patients we see have high blood pressure and other chronic illnesses but have lost their medicines when their homes flooded.  For patients who have a history of high blood pressure, or hypertension, we are concerned because this is a very serious condition.  It’s called “the silent killer” because it typically has no symptoms until after it has done significant damage to the heart and arteries," said Lindsey.

"I was glad we could help this patient get the care she needed to address this serious illness.” 

For many in this small Texas town, including Lindsey’s patient, access to health care isn’t easy. An emergency like this patient’s severe hypertension becomes complicated very quickly.  Some in the community don’t have the documentation required at most clinics and will not seek treatment for serious conditions.

HOPE’s nurse practitioner made a lifesaving difference for this patient because she recognized the importance of the problem and acted rapidly. With the proper emergency care, the patient’s blood pressure was lowered into a normal range and the patient received a supply of medication to replace the medicines lost in the flood.

Project HOPE has over a dozen medical volunteers, including physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacists and mental health professionals, who are working hard to provide health services for vulnerable groups affected by Harvey. Health services include crucial tetanus immunizations, treatment for chronic illnesses, mental health services, and HOPE is also supplying hundreds of hygiene kits to help protect against the poor sanitation conditions that are a result of widespread flooding.

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