Monday, February 1, 2010


My Uncle is currently in Haiti, contributing as a anesthesiologist. He has been emailing us (other doctors') blog excerpts to show a little perspective of what he and many others have been experiencing. It's very painful to read some of them, I can't even imagine what it would be like to be there witnessing some of these stories.

One group, including my uncle, before heading to Haiti.

Date: 01.30.2010 09.13 PM

At the General Hospital our cardiology and medicine residents went and worked in the ICU treating patients with wounds, heart failure and kidney failure. One was a 15 year old boy in heart failure who in the end was flown to the USS Comfort medical ship. Our vascular surgeons, Drs McCarthy and Lind performed surgery all day, mainly debridement of infected wounds.

Our anesthesia and ortho teams went to a former private hospital now treating earthquake victims. Drs Fernandez and Van Thiel rounded on wounded patients and performed 7 surgeries, including debridement of the leg wound of the 4 year old we saw yesterday. The boy did well and was discharged.

Our team went to a makeshift urgent care center and worked alongside physicians and nurses from around the world. A group from the Dominican Republic set up at the Main Police Station directly in front of the destroyed National Palace. Our group alone saw over 400 children today. We had some very sick children with respiratory infections, dehydration and malnutrition. We had to stabilize a basically unresponsive little 11 month old whose mother and 2 of 3 siblings died and who has likely developed sepsis (blood poisoning) from infected wounds. Luckily Dr Ansell was at the General Hospital - we transported the girl, he received her and took her to the pediatric tent.

Many sad stories today. A pregnant mother who lost her husband and two of her children in the quake. Her 2 year old was stuck under the rubble for 4 days - she ended up having to pay someone 1000 Haitian dollars to dig him out. She has nothing - not even a sheet to sleep on in the tent city. A 10 year old boy who lost both parents and his siblings when their house collapsed. Only he and his 8 year old brother survived, now living on the street. To add misery to the situation, he got separated from his brother yesterday. Now both are completely alone. It is so heartwrenching to see this and be able to do so little. Although I hope I am making at least a small contribution, the scope of all this is so immense it is overwhelming.

That is all for now - we are all exhausted and need to try and get some rest.


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