UW surgeon, 74, bound for Nepal to aid earthquake victims

By JoNel Aleccia

A 74-year-old orthopedic surgeon and spine specialist from Seattle is among a crew of emergency-medical workers heading to Nepal in the wake of Saturday’s devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake that has left more than 4,700 dead and 8,000 injured.

The University of Washington’s Dr. Ted Wagner, a clinical professor of orthopedics and sports medicine, said he expects to find patients with a crippling range of injuries.

“I assume there will be literally hundreds of people with fractures and many of those with open fractures,” he said. “My immediate impression is there are also severe spine injuries.”

Wagner, who visited Nepal five months ago, said he is going at the request of a friend and fellow surgeon, Dr. Rohit Pokharel at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu, the nation’s capital.

“I couldn’t resist this surgeon’s plea,” Wagner said.

Wagner is making the trip under auspices of the local aid group Clarion Global Response, which has provided medical and humanitarian aid in Haiti, Pakistan, the Philippines and other countries enduring natural and human-caused disasters.

The group, operated by the nonprofit International Medical Assistance Team, will set up a self-contained field hospital with resources to care for 10,000 people over 90 days, said director Chris Tompkins.


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