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Scripps Nurses Reflect On Nepal Quake Recovery Efforts

The Scripps Health medical response team treated more than two thousand people in Nepal after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in April.

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The Scripps Health medical response team treated more than two thousand people in Nepal after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in April.

A team of nurses from Scripps Health is back home from treating thousands of people in Nepal following a deadly 7.8 magnitude earthquake in April.

Five members of the Scripps medical staff traveled to the Gorkha district of Nepal and teamed up with the International Medical Corps.

During their 21-day medical mission, they treated more than 2,200 patients who had fractures, lacerations and other chronic illnesses.

“The standard of infrastructure has always been very limited (in Nepal),” said Scripps nurse Jan Zachry, who has visited the country several times over the years. “But the complete depletion of villages and devastation of people’s homes, walking trails, the landslides and lack of water source. It was painful to see all the devastation.”

Debra McQuillen, also a Scripps nurse, said the team sometimes worked more than 12 hours a day.

“Our days were very long,” McQuillen told KPBS Midday Edition on Thursday. “We woke up when the village woke up, which was typically around 4:30 a.m. We would the run clinic sometimes all day until 6:30 p.m.”

While on the ground, the team survived a second strong temblor.

“We saw before our eyes the re-collapsing of stone homes they had started to rebuild, and due to a U.S. helicopter crash we spent an extra day in a remote village,” Zachry said. “That was an experience for us, to be part of the second earthquake as well as the relief efforts.”

The two earthquakes killed more than 8,600 people in Nepal.

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