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Chilean Miners Prepare to Go Home

The world watched with anticipation as news cameras filmed the 33 workers being rescued from the mine where they were trapped for the past two months. Their underground cavern had been dark, hot and humid causing work related injuries that could last a life time.

The miners had adapted to the new environment since August 5 and could not simply be removed by emergency workers. The Chilean Army sent two of their nurses into the mine before rescuers to prepare the men for their return to the surface. Six hours before their rescue, miners received liquid sustenance to prevent vomiting. Oakley provided specially manufactured sunglasses to each of the minors to protect their eyes from sunlight that could severely damage their eyesight. Loved ones were allowed to embrace the once trapped fathers, brothers and sons before they were whisked away by emergency medical personnel.

Although they face possible complications in the future, Dr. Jorge Montes of the Copiapo Hospital in Chile said that most of them were doing quite well after the traumatic construction accident. In fact, the hospital has begun making plans for their release. "All of them were subjected to high levels of stress," Montes said of the miners. "They are happy after having spent a good night."

Doctors treated the miners for physical symptoms such as skin conditions, dental complications, ulcers and pneumonia, but also cautioned their families about mental and emotional aftereffects. Doctors explained that miners might experience post-traumatic stress disorder or develop other mental issues including nightmares, panic attacks, anxiety and claustrophobia as a result of being trapped in the dark cave. 

Source: CNN "Hospital may release most of Chilean miners today" 10/14/10

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