Thursday, January 21, 2010

News From Haiti

Photo: Bas-Ravine in northern part of Cap-Haitien, © Rémi Kaupp, CC-BY-SA,Wikimedia Commons

Please check out Paul Levy's full post From Haiti: "Life Really Just Goes On," in which he posts a portion of the field diary of Dr. R. Malcolm Smith, Chief of Orthopaedic Trauma at Massachusetts General Hospital.

An excerpt ("rhabdo" is short for rhabdomyolysis, a dangerous condition that can develop after severe crush injuries):

"Discovered the only blood tests we can do is a crit and cross match. No facilities to do electrolytes. Problem with rhabdo patients so watching urine colour and volume pushing fluid and diagnosing acidosis clinically. No iv bicarb so took advice and sent someone to buy baking soda to give orally not sure. Can someone ask our renal guys about renal protection in this situation?

"Done 16 cases so far through 1 room in 3 days operating and 1 more to do tonight...Have about 60 waiting most with wounds and open fx.

"Had to operate for a short time with head lights when power cut this evening. Thank you Mary and LL Bean...C section just happened, our anaesthetist helped, baby looks fine. Life really just goes on.

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