InterCom. online resource (None) 1954-1986, June 01, 1963, Image 4
Page 4 Duke University Medical Center, InterGom Cosmetic Prosthetic Center to Open A Cosmetic Prosthetic Center to serve facially disfigured persons is be ing established at the Medical Center. The new venture, directed by Elon H. Clark, professor of medical art and illustration, is believed to be the first of its kind with resources for the total rehabilitation of patients who require artificial noses, ears or other facial restoration. The Center does not deal in artificial wigs or eyes. Although work in cosmetic prosthesis has been an activity of the Duke Medical Illus tration Department for the past 15 years, establishment of the Center will allow for increased service and will make possible increased research in prosthetic techniques and materials. Tiie Center will be supported by a grant of $:J8,574 from the Vocational K(‘habilitation Administration of the U. IS. Department of Health, Educa tion and Welfare. Cosmetic prostheses are designed to improve the appearance of persons who have been disfigured by disease, injury or birth defects. Mr. Clark notes that the majority of patients seen by the Duke group exliibit a de fect that is the result of a malignant disease. Facial restorations are made at Duke from a vinyl resin plastic. This type of facial restoration will last only a year or slightly longer. How ever, individual molds are retained at the Center so the patient can be “serviced” the rest of his life. It is possible now to complete a prosthesis in one daj' and no hospitalization is required. Production of a prosthesis originally took five days. Kesearch activities at the Center will be directed toward improving the durability, flexibility and skin-like quality of the prosthesis. To date there has been relatively little re search in the field. Mr. Clark states that “even the best prosthesis will eventually change color and deterio rate. B}' experimenting w^ith new nm- terials and processes, we hope to over come these limitations.” There are few limitations imposed l)v tlie wearing of a facial restoration. There is a possibility that the pros thesis can be accidentally jarred. However, only with children inclined to rough play is this apt to present a problem. Swimming is possible, but a deej) sun-tan will contrast siiarply w’ith the prosthesis. In this case, make-up may solve the problem. In addition to Mr. Clark, members of the Center staff are: Robert L. Blake of the Medical Illustration De partment, assistant director of the Center; Dr. H. W. Humphries, former director of the Kershaw County Health Department, Camden, S. C., who will be engaged in research and rehabilitation activities; Forrest I). Wirt, head of the School of Dental Technology at the Durham Industrial Education Center, on a part-time basis as research associate; John Kelly, Jr., research assistant; and Pamela Dra per, technician. A polymer chemist, yet to be appointed, will round out the group. It is of interest that Dr. Ilumpliries is, himself, the wearer of a facial prosthesis. In addition to this stafl', consultative service from the faculties of surgery and psy chiatry will be available. “Our prime purpose will be to re turn the patient to his home and com munity as a useful, productive citi zen,” Mr. Clark states. Disaster Drill Given New Twist The annual disaster drill was given a new twist this year when, on May 14, hospital personnel w’ere asked to cope with casualties from a mock train wreck near the overpass across Myrtle Drive. Disaster drills in the past have included siich catastrophes as a plane crash, an explosion at the Engineering School and the collapse of the roof of Page Auditorium. Considering the volume of passenger train service in Durham, this year's disaster had a touch of fantasy about it! Fanciful or not, the exercise provided personnel with serious and essential practice in handling large numbers of patients in a sudden emergency. Employee of the Month m MRS. RUBY GONGS This month we recognize the out standing performance of Mrs. Eul:^^ Gongs, who as a messenger with tli^^ Heart Station, has earned this honor. It is worthy of note that Ruby re ceived recommendations from several nur.ses and ward secretaries with whom her work brings her in contact. Their comments indicate that Mrs. Gongs has a sincere interest in the wel fare of her patients, has a genuine smile and goes about her work quietly and efficiently. Her politeness, pleas ant personality, and her cooperative attitude were also brought out. Mrs. Gongs has been w'ith the Hos pital since March 23, 1950, and w'e liope that she remains with us for many more years. Our congratula tions to Mrs. Gongs for doing a splendid job. Supt^A Cotnet (Continued from page 3) ment for the care of patients it spon sors. Deficits on these patients place a severe strain on our private patient in come from other sources to provide the funds for even a restricted an^^ tightly structured operation.