Former Senator Majority Leader, and Former Co-Chair of ONE Vote ‘08, Dr. Bill Frist is currently in Haiti helping with the country’s grave need for more surgeons in the wake of last’s week’s devastating earthquake. He’s blogging about his experiences at BillFrist.com and HopeThroughHealingHands.org. You can read his first post here. Below is his second update from Haiti:
Its 3:30pm and we have been on site for 5 hours. The Baptist Mission Hospital here in Fermathe has two doctors and about 100 beds. Since the hospital is 20 miles north of Port au Prince, it is normally used as a referral hospital. But it is all pretty simple; it did not have even a basic lab until last month; it does not have blood for transfusions; and it is very elementary.
For example, we have one patient being transfused. She had a gastrointestinal bleed last night and her hemoglobin is only two. There is no blood, so she is being transfused directly from the vein of a doctor of the same blood type.
All serious injuries are coming here. The hospital consists of a single functional operating room, two large ward rooms, and a single long hall connecting them all. It has been overwhelmed.
It has been packed all day. You can barely move through the hallway. We quickly toured the facility, made an initial assessment, and then we met with the exhausted limited medical staff.
Findings: Shortage of nurses, no triage going on, no medical records, no place to house postoperative patients. We have an anesthesiologist with us, but we lack basic anesthesia equipment.
Patients: All ages, mainly fractures, the wounds that are now 6 days old are all infected. There is a shortage of pins and plates to stabilize the wounds.
I’m in a meeting now with 6 Samaritan’s Purse members and hospital leadership addressing the issues above.
More later. We need to unload the antibiotics.