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Mil Med. 2007 Feb;172(2):199-201.

The 81st Medical Group obstetrics and gynecology flight's role during Hurricane Katrina.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Keesler Medical Center, 81st MSGS/ SGCG, 301 Fisher Street, Keesler AFB, MS 39534, USA.



The Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN) flight at Keesler Medical Center sheltered 36 pregnant women and their families during Hurricane Katrina to ensure that appropriate medical care would be available. Ironically, the hospital's emergency generators were destroyed during the 30-foot storm surge, while one woman with a previous cesarean section went into active labor. She ultimately underwent a cesarean delivery using battery-operated flashlights for illumination. After the storm, the damage to the hospital was so extensive as to require aeromedical evacuation of the pregnant patients and their families. In addition, two OB/GYN physicians transferred to a nearby shelter on base and provided general medical care to its occupants.


OB/GYN physicians in the military play a vital role in the care of victims of natural disasters. In addition to pregnancy-related issues, OB/GYN physicians can be expected to provide primary and emergency care to victims under austere conditions.

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