International Medical
of Tennessee
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An EADS mobile hospital, donated International Medical Alliance of Tennessee for Gulf Coast hurricane Katrina relief efforts and allowed IMA to  treat more than 4,500 patients in Mississippi.

The facility, known as TransHospital, was loaned to the non-profit International Medical Alliance through an initiative involving the German government and EADS business units in the United States and Europe.

During its hurricane relief service - which began September 27 and concluded October 28 - more than 4,500 patient visits were processed through the TransHospital rescue station by the International Medical Alliance's staff of doctors and support personnel, which represented nearly half of IMA's total patient visits at its nine other locations in the greater Long Beach area. Treatment ranged from inoculations to minor surgeries performed in the TransHospital's fully-equipped operating room.

"TransHospital was a godsend, and it made a real difference in how we were able to help those whose lives were turned upside down by the hurricanes," explained Dale C. Betterton, M.D., a former U.S. Army Green Beret who runs the International Medical Alliance with his wife, nurse practitioner Dorothy Davidson.

Betterton said nearly 190 surgical procedures were performed in the mobile hospital for injuries sustained during hurricane clean-up activity. These injuries ranged from lacerations suffered in the use of chain saws to broken bones and puncture wounds caused by nails in the debris of houses and buildings.

In addition to the medical support, TransHospital became a symbol of how outside donations were used effectively to help a population hard-hit by the back-to-back hurricanes in the U.S. Gulf Coast. "The TransHospital's presence became a very positive factor for the community here," said Dorothy Davidson. "We had a steady flow of visitors who wanted to see the mobile hospital in operation, and to hear how we were using it to help ease the community's pain and suffering."

The EADS hospital unit's two-shelter configuration deployed at Long Beach had a fully-outfitted operating room, along with a storage unit for support equipment and supplies. This facility was completely autonomous - functioning with its own 60 kVA power supply, and operating with separate 220-gallon tanks for fresh water generation/supply and wastewater collection.

The hospital unit's availability was the result of a cooperative effort involving EADS North America, EADS Defense Electronics, the German government and Airbus. EADS North America and Airbus personnel played an important role in organizing the TransHospital's U.S. arrival and its placement with the International Medical Alliance.

EADS Defense Electronics, which builds the modular transportable hospital centers for military use, approached Germany’s Defense Ministry for the loan of a rescue station from the German armed forces' inventory. The request was approved by the government, and the mobile hospital was airlifted from Frankfurt to Atlanta on a cargo flight sponsored by Lufthansa Airlines and Germany's non-profit Aviation Without Borders agency.

After its U.S. arrival in Atlanta, the mobile hospital then transferred to an Airbus A300-600ST Beluga cargo jetliner, which carried the 12-ton facility to Jackson, Mississippi.

TransHospital systems have been used for years in support of military operations, including the German army's deployment of units to Kosovo in Serbia and Kabul in Afghanistan. The Kosovo facility uses the TransHospital modular shelters to create a medical center with 260 beds, while the Kabul facility operates in a combat support hospital role.

EADS also sent a mobile hospital unit module to Indonesia early this year following the tsunami in Southeast Asia to provide daily medical support for a refugee camp.

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