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Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Haitians die at hospital for lack of . . .

. . . medical workers who can think (and act) for themselves.

"With Haiti's main hospitals destroyed or damaged by last week's magnitude-7 quake, the U.N. hospital is one of the best now operating. Even so, its two vast tents are so jammed with severely injured patients that others are forced to lie outside, and basic equipment — a heart-monitoring system, an intubator, a ventilator, even oxygen — is lacking."

This is a tragedy, indeed. But someone needs to tell these people that a mere 95 years ago, medics in field hospitals on the Western Front had none of these fancy devices, and they did just fine at saving the lives of soldiers who stopped a bullet with their femurs.

Let me tell you what the most basic medical equipment actually consists of:

saws
scalpels
a needle & thread
splints
bandages

With these you can cut open the wound, remove the bullet, amputate the mangled limb, sew everything shut, and wrap it tight. Apparently Mr. Lagradelle had received none of these basic battlefield procedures for a whole week after the earthquake. What's incredible is that the U.N. doctor watched him die without giving him any basic treatment whatsoever, when any battlefield barber in Napoleon's Army could have done gotten it all over in ten minutes, even without the benefit of that all-important saline drip (you really can't treat a broken leg with intravenous drugs. Believe me. It's obviously been tried). He died, because his vital signs--dutifully taken every four hours around the clock as he lapsed into unconsciousness from his untreated injury--weren't in the normal range required for surgery. Bulloney.

Lord save us from such doctors, especially when we really need their skill.

2 comments:

  1. Tuesday, January 19, 2010
    WE NEED ONE DOCTOR!!!!! NOW!!!!

    If there is a doctor, who can get on a plane to Ft. Lauderdale yesterday ASAP, loaded with medical supplies, WE WILL FLY YOU AND TAKE YOU DIRECTLY TO CARREFOUR!!!!! Jon is still flying. He leaves again sometime before 7 p.m. We are running low on supplies.

    My sisters are nurses and don't have the necessary skills to do the things that have to be done.

    Jon says there are 4 or 5 acres of supplies sitting at the airport, most of it UN. Not leaving.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Carrefour is only 12 miles away from four acres of United Nations' emergency medical supplies sitting there on the tarmac. It's been more than a week since the earthquake, but nobody at their organization seems to be able to give a simple command like "Load this stuff on a truck and take it to the people!" Only our team is in this place that is at the very entrance of hell.

    ReplyDelete

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