9-Year-Old Boy Dies After Being Shot in Head in Croixville Housing Community; Police Detain 15-Year-Old

Concerned Residents Clean Christiansted Town Using Their Own Tools, Money, and Some Help from the VI Fire Service

Territory May See Veterans Cemetery Through DeGazon-Sponsored Bill

Credit and Debit Cards of WAPA Customers Were Compromised Since August 30th, WAPA Says, Authority to Finally Start Issuing Notification Via Mail and Email

Sports Tourism in VI Gains Momentum as DC United Team is set to Play Exhibition Soccer Game on St. Croix

Carnival Breeze Brings 3,700 Tourists to St. Croix During Maiden Call; Senators, Tourism Officials Want to See More

Limetree Bay Willing To Provide $10 Million To Help Add Life to a Dying G.E.R.S.

American Airlines to Serve St. Croix With New Flights Next Summer

The Sudden Death of Influential Roots Reggae Visionary, Vaughn Benjamin of Midnite Band and Akae Beka, Has Rocked the Virgin Islands and Reggae Community Around the World

Arthur A. Richards K-8 School Hosts Anti-Bullying Campaign

Come Out. Hang Out. Have Fun at The Meat Up, One of St. Thomas’ Latest Hot-Spot for Good Food with Friends and Family.

UVI Board of Trustees Approves $47.1 Million Fiscal Year 2020 Budget; Sets $3 Million Fundraising Goal

Man Dies During Early Morning Car Accident on St. Croix; Driver of Car Arrested (Updated)

'You Did Everything You Could to Prevent this from Happening': An Emotional Goodbye to Young Aaron Benjamin

Back in Business: Cost U Less on St. Thomas Opened its Doors Friday to Thousands of Customers 2 Years after Irma and Maria

Bill Aimed at Regulating Credit Use by Gov't Departments and Agencies Among Others Held in Committee

Juan Luis Hospital Announces Completion and Availability of Mobile Dialysis Facilities

Tractor Trailer With Tank Carrying Thousands Of Gallons of Liquified Gas Flips Near Cool Out Bar; Driver Injured But Alive

Credit and Debit Card Hack Through WAPA Appears to be Widespread in Virgin Islands; WAPA Says Support Services Will be Made Available to Affected Customers

Facing Life in Prison Without Parole, Mother and Boyfriend Plead Not Guilty in Murder of 4-Year-Old Boy

New Study Says Hundreds of Virgin Islanders May Have Died as a Result of Hurricanes Irma and Maria

Featured / Government / Health / Hurricane Recovery / News / Top Stories / Virgin Islands / October 19, 2019

A new study published by the American Journal of Public Health drastically increases the death toll resulting from Hurricanes Irma and Maria in the territory as reported by the Virgin Islands government, which, as of today, still stands at 5.

According to the report, first published by Bloomberg News, the actual number of storm-related deaths is possibly several hundreds.

Following the 2017 storms which devastated the islands’ medical facilities, around 800 patients needing care — most of whom were dialysis patients — had to be evacuated to several states.

“There is general agreement that the U.S. failed to provide aggressive, post-hurricane support in Puerto Rico,” says Dr. Glenn Morris, who is the study’s corresponding author and a professor of infectious diseases in University of Florida’s College of Medicine. “But what our paper does is document for the first time that this was a huge problem in the U.S. Virgin Islands too.”

During a Committee on Health, Hospitals, and Human Services hearing Friday, senators received testimony regarding the state of hemodialysis at both of the territory’s hospital. Officials from the Schneider Regional Medical Center said that hospital’s dialysis system was mostly undamaged. However, the Juan F. Luis Hospital operation was all but destroyed, and there was a mass removal of patients from JFL to mainland facilities.

In response to a line of questioning by Sen. Kenneth Gittens,  Tasnim Khan, director of the hemodialysis unit at JFL, stated that twelve patients died after the storms, and dialysis treatment resumed in 2018. That number appears to be a local count, as deaths of Virgin Islands dialysis patients sent off-island after the storms rose significantly in months after they were evacuated. In May 2018, the number of patients sent away for care who died was 49. There has not been an official count ever since.

According to JFL officials, the hospital is currently providing treatment to 90 hemodialysis patients in one out of two temporary dialysis trailers contracted and provided by the federal government. The second trailer is expected to be operable in a few weeks pending safety inspections and required equipment.

Johan Coto, hemodialysis patient at JFL shared challenges that patients endure. “The biggest hurdle facing dialysis patients is the constant opposition from the current administration at JFL. As patients, we try to be a part of the process in terms of treatment facilities yet there is a lack of response to the information requested by patients to the administration. There is no attempt to be transparent,” said Mr. Coto, who suffers from renal failure for 21 years and is a patient at JFL for the past 15 years.

“This discussion leaves me with a heavy heart because everyone is an episode away from illness,” said Senate President Novelle Francis. “We as leaders have to provide our people with hope to bring relief and services to them.  Stakeholders must collaborate to address the concerns discussed in this hearing.”

Staff Consortium

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Air Travel for Winter Season Appears to be Back to Pre-Storm Levels, Tourism Officials Say

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October 18, 2019