Saturday, February 27, 2010

...we practiced continuous battlefield medicine...

Stanford and Columbia doctors author a detailed account of the initial situation and response for the New England Journal of Medicine:

Civil–Military Collaboration in the Initial Medical Response to the Earthquake in Haiti

"...The scene we faced was apocalyptic. Approximately 800 victims were within the hospital compound, most of them outdoors. A damaged building was filled with the patients deemed in greatest need of emergency surgery. Hundreds of patients awaited evaluation and treatment. An internal medicine ward was packed with patients with crush and other severe soft-tissue injuries, amputations, open and infected fractures, compartment syndromes, hemorrhagic shock, and other conditions threatening to life and limb. In a central wooded area outside, the ground was barely visible for the suffering people, many of whom had distorted limbs, maggot-infested wounds, deforming facial injuries, skull fractures, and spinal cord injuries. A single operating room with a few tables was staffed by overworked surgeons who amputated limbs and d├ębrided infected tissue. The morgue was overflowing, and approximately 40 bodies were stacked near the medical ward. (more)

By Paul S. Auerbach, M.D., Robert L. Norris, M.D., Anil S. Menon, M.D., Ian P. Brown, M.D., Solomon Kuah, M.D., Jennifer Schwieger, M.D., Jeffrey Kinyon, D.O., Trina N. Helderman, M.D., and Lynn Lawry, M.D.

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