Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Doctors: Haiti medical situation shameful

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU
 
HeresyLives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:00 PM
Original message
Doctors: Haiti medical situation shameful
By Drs. Dean Lorich, Soumitra Eachempati and David L. Helfet, Special to CNN
January 25, 2010 -- Updated 2058 GMT (0458 HKT)

Editor's note: Dr. Dean G. Lorich is the associate director of the Orthopaedic Trauma Service at the Hospital for Special Surgery and New York Presbyterian Hospital and teaches orthopedic surgery at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University. Dr. Soumitra Eachempati is a medical researcher with a clinical surgical practice and teaches at Weill Cornell Medical College. Dr. David L. Helfet is professor of orthopedic surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College and director of the Orthopaedic Trauma Service at the Hospital for Special Surgery and New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

New York City (CNN) -- Four years ago, the devastating Hurricane Katrina affected millions in the United States. The initial medical response was ill-equipped, understaffed, poorly coordinated and delayed. Criticism was fierce.

The response to Haiti has been the same. The point no one seems to remember is this: Medical response to these situations cannot be delayed. Immediate access to emergency equipment is also crucial.

Within 24 hours of the earthquake, Dr. David Helfet put together a 13-member team of surgeons, anesthesiologists and operating room nurses, with a massive amount of orthopedic operating room equipment, ready to be flown directly to Port-au-Prince on a private plane.

We also had a plan to replace physicians and equipment -- within 24 hours, we could bring in whatever was necessary on a private jet. We believe we had a reasonably comprehensive orthopedic trauma service; as trauma surgeons, we planned to provide acute care in the midst of an orthopedic disaster.

We expected many amputations. But we thought we could save limbs that were salvageable, particularly those of children. We recognized that in an underdeveloped country, a limb amputation may be a death sentence. It does not have to be so.

We thought our plan was a good one, but we soon learned we were incredibly naive. Disaster management in Haiti was nonexistent.


http://edition.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/01/25/doctors.haiti...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:07 PM
Response to Original message
1. K&R to overcome the unrecs...n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. y yo tambien s/p
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Why the hell are people unrec'ing this? I just rec'd it & the score stayed the same.
Which means someone was unrec'ing it at the same time.

I totally don't get it.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:14 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. The military management of Haiti is damn near perfect....
It's just ignorant armchair quarterbacks that don't understand lifeboat, crisis management - dontcha know?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:27 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. If this OP is so important, why so many posts about UnRec rather than commenting on the thread?
:shrug:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:11 PM
Response to Reply #3
17. Because criticizing this mismanagement is "insulting" to our troops
Edited on Mon Jan-25-10 11:11 PM by EFerrari
and attacks Obama. :crazy:

Today someone told me if they were my Navy dad, they would disown me for criticizing the management of the rescue effort. As if our troops all sat down and came up with this policy at USAID -- which isn't even at the Pentagon but at State. Geezus.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TxRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:45 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. scale
3 million people without food water or shelter. 100,000+ dead, probably 200,000+ injured.

Tell me what 3,000 troops can do about that. 100,000 maybe could almost meet the impossible expectations some seem to have.

Troops have nothing to do with it, there aren't enough of them to do a lot either. They came in and started handing out as much food and water as they could move the day they got there. And there were almost no troops ashore when these doctors came in.

People keep throwing around numbers like 16,000, but most of those are sailors running the ships offshore.

World food programme's warehouses were collapsed, The U.N. took heavy casualties, the U.N HQ collapsed killing the U.N mission chief and many others with 100 or more dead or trapped.

Many NGO's fared badly as well.

And people expect a paltry few thousand military to arrive and have a disaster of this scale affecting millions and have it perfectly organized and running like a clock in 36 hours?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 12:09 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. Right. That's what I said. Troops have nothing to do with the policy
crafted in the USAID office at THE STATE DEPARTMENT.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
merkins Donating Member (309 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #3
24. DLC bots covering their sorry asses
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
HeresyLives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:15 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. Thank you. I know it's hard to read,
and it's certainly appalling, but obviously these doctors are going to raise a stink about it so we might as well know.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
spotbird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:22 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. Why would someone unrec?
People are strange.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:24 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. .
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
JuniperLea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:11 PM
Response to Original message
4. WTF!!??!! Of course disaster management in Haiti was nonexistent!!!
They have nothing! Day to day they have nothing! Disaster preparedness requires funds and supplies, not to mention organization... who the hell can manage that monumental task when you can't even get enough to eat day to day?

This is nonsense... they very idea that there MIGHT be something set in Haiti to help with this effort is monumentally stupid.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:12 PM
Response to Original message
5. So they didn't have security & left
But the complaint yesterday that all that was in Haiti was US troops and they were occupying the country and it had to stop.

But really, what did these 13 doctors think would happen in a city of 3 million and country of 9 million.

Incredibly naive, and decided to just stay that way too.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
timeforpeace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:36 PM
Response to Original message
11. You just know they're going to criticize Obama for this. "Disaster management...nonexistent". Bull.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
HeresyLives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:41 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Neither his fault, nor his country. n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 10:20 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. They didn't really mention anyone specifically.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MiniMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 09:29 PM
Response to Original message
13. I hate to say it, but somebody else just tooting their own horn
I'm sure the help would have been welcomed, but 24 hours after the earthquake the airport was virtually closed, and there was no way to get the operating room supplies out of the airport to the areas where they were needed. And the acute care is fine, but they would need aftercare too. People had to be rescued before they went to surgery.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 10:13 PM
Response to Original message
14. Many have assured us that security was not an issue. These Dr.'s seem to feel differently.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:19 PM
Response to Reply #14
19. I have claimed security was not an issue in those first urgent days
Edited on Mon Jan-25-10 11:19 PM by EFerrari
and as far as I can tell, it wasn't. It's too bad about the truck with the supplies. How frustrating for these people.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
WolverineDG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #14
25. Yes, they did
There were many calls for the US military to leave Haiti because they weren't doing anything important there anyway & their presence wasn't necessary.

dg
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
flyarm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:07 PM
Response to Original message
16. John Travolta Landed tonight in Clearwater St Pete Airport..at 8pm tonight
he rented a Quantas 707 to take 30 + tons of medical equip and 20 medical Doctors to Haiti as well as thousands UPON THOUSANDS OF MRE'S to deliver to Haiti starving Citizens...He took off from here approx 930 tonight, for Haiti.

Just on our news tonight.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
thereismore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #16
23. That's truly wonderful, but I think the early hours after quake were very different. nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:16 PM
Response to Original message
18. This is why they're called DISASTERS.
I had to laugh a little sad ironic laugh when the doctor described how the supplies were hijacked between the airport and the hospital.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
EmeraldCityGrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:35 PM
Response to Original message
20. Of course there is a need for security...
but the military is big and lumbersome, anal and bureaucratic. If medical teams as this one
can be in place within 24 hrs, we have to be able to utilize that for future events. What happens
when the big one hits the West coast? We need to have medical specialists in charge
of inventory and distribution. They know what needs to get where and how soon.

Also, if heavy equipment had been there in twenty four hours, imagine the lives that could
have been saved. Rescue teams were heroic, but when you have thousands of pounds of
cement on top of a voice begging for help, there's only so much you can do.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
WolverineDG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 03:35 PM
Response to Reply #20
26. Know any medical teams & NGOs that can get an destroyed airport operating in about 24 hours?
Or that can offload & refuel their own planes, while operating their own trucks (& keeping them fueled up) to distribute the aid?

dg
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
hayu_lol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. There should be no doubt that large numbers of troops...
are necessary with a disaster of this proportion. People, particularly armchair warriors, that when the first troops arrived, complete chaos was what they saw. Their first missions would have been to get the airport cleared off and operating. Their own encampment had to be established including food, water, latrines, showers, tents and warehousing facilities either by building rough storage units or tents. Lots of work that came first.

Want to treat sick and injured people? You must have a place to do so. The military has been involved in all this sorting out, construction, putting systems for food/water distribution in place, along with attempting to find people trapped in the wreckage.

It cannot be done in one day...not at the scale of disaster in PU Prince. While early distribution was attempted, there was mostly disorganization for several days. One more plane load of 20 or so doctors would have done nothing to solve all the major problems.

Organized searching, organized food and water distribution, organization at the airport and also, now, at the port has begun. Frankly, the people of Haiti are fortunate that we were able to get as many people and large quantities of the necessities of life to them as quickly as we did.

First things come first. This has been done.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
WolverineDG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 05:29 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. ITA nt

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Thu Dec 18th 2014, 11:17 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC