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Navy Lt. Oksana Hirniak, a general medical officer from 3rd Marine Logistics Group, Okinawa, Japan, examines the 2,000th patient treated at the field hospital in Shinkiari, Pakistan, on Nov. 29. More than 200 Marines and sailors from Okinawa are deployed to Pakistan on an earthquake relief mission.
Navy Lt. Oksana Hirniak, a general medical officer from 3rd Marine Logistics Group, Okinawa, Japan, examines the 2,000th patient treated at the field hospital in Shinkiari, Pakistan, on Nov. 29. More than 200 Marines and sailors from Okinawa are deployed to Pakistan on an earthquake relief mission. (Scott M. Biscuiti / Courtesy of U.S. Marine Corps)
Navy Lt. Oksana Hirniak, a general medical officer from 3rd Marine Logistics Group, Okinawa, Japan, examines the 2,000th patient treated at the field hospital in Shinkiari, Pakistan, on Nov. 29. More than 200 Marines and sailors from Okinawa are deployed to Pakistan on an earthquake relief mission.
Navy Lt. Oksana Hirniak, a general medical officer from 3rd Marine Logistics Group, Okinawa, Japan, examines the 2,000th patient treated at the field hospital in Shinkiari, Pakistan, on Nov. 29. More than 200 Marines and sailors from Okinawa are deployed to Pakistan on an earthquake relief mission. (Scott M. Biscuiti / Courtesy of U.S. Marine Corps)
Cmdr. Joseph Taddeo, a general surgeon with 3rd Medical Battalion and currently deployed with Combined Medical Relief Team-3, de-brides the arm of a 3-year-old Pakistani boy in Shinkiari, Pakistan. The boy suffered second-degree burns on most of his left arm and was brought to the field hospital for treatment. The boy’s sister, right, held him during the entire procedure.
Cmdr. Joseph Taddeo, a general surgeon with 3rd Medical Battalion and currently deployed with Combined Medical Relief Team-3, de-brides the arm of a 3-year-old Pakistani boy in Shinkiari, Pakistan. The boy suffered second-degree burns on most of his left arm and was brought to the field hospital for treatment. The boy’s sister, right, held him during the entire procedure. (Scott M. Biscuiti / Courtesy of U.S. Marine Corps)

Just two weeks after opening its doors in Pakistan, the deployed medical unit from Okinawa’s 3rd Marine Logistics group recently saw its 2,000th patient in the mountain town of Shinkiari there.

The group, which now has been dubbed Combined Medical Relief Team-3, is made up of more than 200 III Marine Expeditionary Force and 3rd MLG Marines and sailors including the Bravo Surgical Company from 3rd Medical Battalion.

The team is seeing about 200 patients a day, according to a CMRT-3 news release.

“We’re treating patients from sunup to sundown,” Marine Capt. Danny Chung, CMRT-3 spokesman, was quoted in the release as saying.

“The medical and support staff are well trained and experienced, as many took part in the humanitarian aid provided to Indonesia and Sri Lanka after the (Dec. 26, 2004) tsunami.”

The deployed doctors, nurses and corpsman have been treating patients for injuries such as pelvic fractures, respiratory and cardiac diseases, infections and burns, according to officials. Numerous surgeries, intubations and dental procedures also have been performed since the group’s medical facility opened for business Nov. 17.

On site, CMRT-3 has an emergency room, operating room, triage tent, laboratory, pharmacy, X-ray lab and dental clinic. For care beyond what CMRT-3’s facility can offer, the unit is able to medically evacuate patients to local Pakistan facilities for further treatment. Officials said the team’s four ambulances brought from Okinawa have conducted numerous evacuations.

“It’s deeply gratifying to know that we’ve had such a significant impact,” Cmdr. Tom Davis, CMRT-3’s senior medical officer, was quoted as saying in the release. “It’s emotionally trying to witness the suffering of the Pakistani people but it feels good knowing you’re making a difference one life at a time.”

One medical officer said treating the children of Pakistan lets her impact the future.

“It is very rewarding to treat kids,” Navy Lt. Oksana Hirniak, general medical officer from 3d Marine Logistics Group, was quoted as saying in the release. “It puts things in perspective helping young children because they’ll remember the U.S. doctors 20 years from now. It makes a positive and lasting impression.”

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