Thursday, March 11, 2010

Swamped with patients

From Toni Brayer, M.D.

Last night was a bad night for some of the team – more of our patients died. University General Hospital (where we’re providing care) is serving over 3 million people. And there are only two relief groups here helping the fragmented Haitian medical folks – Partners in Health and and another international medical group that is running the ER. Below you can see the line for the ER tent around 6 a.m. The ER care team tries to treat as many patients as possible but the doctors and nurses can't get to everyone. We learned today that a girl with sickle cell died after waiting all day to be seen.

This man was leaving the busy ER tent and had a large burn on his leg. We brought him into the medical error where Lucy Duffy R.N. (California Pacific Medical Center) put on a zeroform dressing.

There is a doctor here from UCSF who I’ve been consulting that also runs a TB tent. We are swamped with patients all the time and the post-op tent was unattended last night because we have such few resources. The patients in post-op are very sick but there isn't enough help to go around.

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