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'MASH' treats patients outside tornado-damaged Joplin hospital

NewsOn6.com (OK), May 31, 2011

St. John's Hospital in Joplin remains in tatters. Doctors and nurses have sat on the sidelines for a week, but Sunday they began helping patients again. Doctors, nurses, and medical staff mobilized into action, navigating tunnels of triage units; a makeshift hospital inside a reinforced tent. A military team built the facility in two days. Because Joplin looks like a war zone, the tent is nicknamed the M.A.S.H. unit. "We don't want to call it that but that's what the military calls it. A mobile surgical hospital," Bill Dodson with St. John's Hospital said. The tent stood in the shadow of the wind-ravaged shell of a hospital. The halls are littered with debris and painful memories. "[There were] literally dozens of people laying in gurneys," said Dave Hagedorn, MD. "We were without needles. We were without syringes. We were out of basic medications."