Final Clinic Day the Most Intense

The final day of clinics began unsure of exactly where we would end up. Planned to follow up at two different refugee camp sites. Called instead to the heavily damaged city of Petit Goave. The pediatric, maternity wards and one OR at the hospital were heavily damaged and unoccupied. Doctor’s Without Borders had set up on site but were moving southwest to an area not damaged but where people were relocating.

We saw many crush injuries and some general medical patients. Worked until early evening primarily cleaning and dressing wounds and applying casts to fractured arms and legs using sedation.

The day unfortunately ended with sad but for Haiti not uncommon patients. One was a 12 year old boy who had an open fracture of his leg from the earthquake 10 days earlier. He had been seen but the leg had become infected and needed to be amputated. His mother had died 2 years earlier and after the earthquake he and his dad were sleeping in the streets.

A second child was seen for a second degree burn over about 20% of his body 2 days earlier after soup fell on him. The wounds needed to be cleaned and dressed under sedation.

After leaving the hospital we were called back 1 hour later as a mother had a breech delivery and the child was stuck and could not be delivered. Having an obstetrician and pediatrician with us members of the team raced the 15 minutes it takes to get to the hospital. Dr. Blake delivered the infant saving the mother. The newborn however never had a heartbeat or started breathing. Dr. Mulqueen and EMT Kevin Casey attempted to resuscitate the infant but were unsuccessful. The parents were grateful for our work and felt some comfort that we were available and tried to help.

The day ended on a graceous note at the UN compound with the Sri Lanken soldiers and Sri Lanken food.

The team spent the rest of the night talking about the stressful day and making plans to travel the next day to the Dominican Republic. A child lost his leg but this was necessary to save his life, a severely burned child had his burns cleaned and dressed to help them heal and prevent infection, and parents felt some comfort that their newborn died but doctors were available and tried everything they could to save their child.