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Soto Cano task force treats more than 200 Peruvian patients Aug. 18

PISCO, Peru -- Medical personnel from Joint Task Force Bravo, from Soto Cano Air Base in Honduras, saw more than 200 patients during their first three hours of operation Aug. 18 and expect to see many more in the next week.

The medical team deployed from Soto Cano the morning of Aug. 17 to provide humanitarian relief following the 8.0 magnitude earthquake Aug. 15. They are scheduled to remain in Peru treating the displaced, hungry and sick for seven days.

In a small stadium in the middle of town, the medical personnel set up to provide basic medications and medical care.

While the Soto Cano servicemembers brought a mobile surgical team to treat possible traumas, fortunately the trauma cases have been few and far between.

"We saw a lot of respiratory illness and bruises the first day," said Air Force Tech. Sgt. Melissa Walker, an independent duty medical technician deployed to Soto Cano from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. "We thought we might see worse, but luckily these are the majority of cases we diagnosed."

Each day the team arrives with enough medicine to treat up to 350 people.

"We are trying to see as many people as possible each day," said Army Maj. (Dr.) Richard Malish, a flight surgeon from Soto Cano. "Right now, we haven't seen any traumas so our goal is to get the people medicine for their aches and pains to make them more comfortable day to day."

The medical team will continue to provide care to those in need throughout the duration of their stay here.

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