Makeshift medical clinic treats hundreds on Kauai following devastating flood

Makeshift medical clinic treats hundreds on Kauai following devastating flood
( Kalawao Rescue )

HANALEI, KAUAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A makeshift medical clinic that's been set up at a Hanalei resort has treated more than 200 people in the week it's been open.

In the aftermath of the devastating flooding on Kauai, a ground floor room at the Hanalei Colony Resort has been converted into an exam room and medication storage site to care of people from Haena to Wainiha who were isolated by landslides that damaged Kuhio Highway.

"Essentially, that community is cut off. No pharmacy, no doctor's offices, no ERs, no nothing," Dr. Jim Ireland said.

Dr. Ireland and other doctors, nurses, pharmacists and volunteers with Kalawao Rescue have treated many people for cuts and abrasions that were suffered during cleanup efforts. The urgency is meant to help stave off infections.

"The problem is in the water," Dr. Ireland said. "Sewers overflowed, and the cesspools and the septic tanks. So there's bacteria in the water."

"We've put together about 200 wound kits with a lot of items that they use to clean their wounds, to keep them clean over time," added Chris Crabtree, who helped coordinate the emergency response.

The kits have antibacterial soaps, antibiotic creams and bandages. Donations paid for the medications, as well as the supplies that come from pharmacies on Oahu and Maui.

Many of the patients being seen at the temporary clinic are receiving tetanus shots.

"The other things we're seeing is diarrhea, vomiting in the kids, and general breathing problems," Dr. Ireland said. "I don't know if that's from mold, that's come from all the wetness, or just regular allergies."

So far, there have been no major emergencies, but one patient had to be airlifted to a hospital. On Saturday, the Department of Transportation plans to open a lane of Kuhio Highway for emergency use only.

"Once the road is open, at least to emergency vehicles, at least an ambulance hopefully can get in and out. That will bring an extra level of comfort to the community. People can get in there quicker," Ireland said.

The clinic's averaging 20 patients a day. Ireland anticipates it'll be open for another week or two.

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