Eliazar Germain Hospital Petion-Ville, HaitiTeam Size:
6 Length of Mission:
7 daysNumber of Surgeries Performed:
BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE
Anesthesiologist and president of S.O.S. Children of Haiti Foundation Dr. Saidel Laine of Mercy Hospital in Coconut Grove, Florida organized this mission out of Miami in collaboration with a national organizer of the medical relief effort in Haiti post earthquake Dr. Claude Surena who assigned ISHI to the Eliazar Germain Hospital. The 45-bed facility, relatively unaffected by the massive earthquake, was where we fulfilled our main mission goal of providing medical and surgical care to injured Haitians following the demolishing January 12 earthquake.
MEDICAL SUPPLIES AND EQUIPMENT
The ISHI team carried 6 boxes of surgical supplies with them including medicine, mesh and wound care supplies. The team had to operate and treat patients at various locations during the mission. Most notably at the Haiti National Satdium were over 2,000 people sought shelter and many of them were suffering from untreated wounds, fractures and dehydration.
"People keep asking me how was it [my experience in Haiti]? There's not a word, not one thing defines it. I can say it was great. I can't say it was awesome but awesome might be kind of a word. It was beyond comprehension. It's beyond description.It [what we did] was not enough. We didn't even take a bite out of what is needed there. If it's the head of a pin compared to the whole world, that's all we did and the biggest thing that I feel is my job right now is to urge anyone to do anything they can because the magnitude of what is needed is beyond comprehension."
Sue Walsh cRNA - ISHI Volunteer
TRAVEL INFORMATION AND ARRIVAL TO HAITI
ISHI left New Jersey on January 21, joining the rest of Dr. Laine's team of volunteers in Miami. Commercial flights had been suspended to Haiti. Thanks to a donated plane from the NASCAR The mission took off from Fort Pierce's Port Saint Lucie International Airport, landed in the Bahamas to refuel, finally arriving to Haiti in the dark hours of early morning. Dr. Claude Surena's group greeted us at the airport and took us directly to Eliazar Germain Hospital where we met with medical director Dr. Yvette Fantal who gave us a complete tour of the facility. This tour allowed us to plan appropriately including announcing our arrival and ability to help patients via a nearby radio station.
This ISHI team was made of 6 volunteers: operating room nurse Mae Tingston, RN, nurse anesthetist Sue Walsh, CRNA, anesthesiologist Dr. Jean Daniel Eloy, general and oncologic surgeon Dr. Kevin Clarke, surgical resident Dr. Diego Reino and trauma surgeon and ISHI team leader Dr. Ziad Sifri. Our team joined 16 other volunteers from the US including Miami, Houston and Hartford.