Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day One in Haiti

Message from Jennifer Bruny, MD

"How do you explain a day like today?

Our travel was actually flawless. Missionary Flights International brought us in. Hendricks motorsports has donated 2 of their planes with full crews to MFI. Everyone along the way has been phenomenal. We happened upon a retired cop from New York who came by himself just looking for how he could help. He has now become our security. Everyone involved in this effort has been amazing and has an incredible story of how they got here.

We hit the ground running. We tried to have some of our crew unpack, but pretty soon we were all working. Patrick started right away on triage, and pretty quickly found several patients in trouble. We have several patients with bad infections. One 12 year old girl was buried for quite some time and is now septic. We are doing everything we can for her right now. Thank goodness for the antibiotics.

Patrick also quickly found 2 patients who needed surgery. One 26 year old man had a very deep stab wound in his shoulder due to fighting over food. By surgery, we mean what we can do on the dining room table. The innovation of the day would be figuring out how to have suction. Take the hand pump mechanism out of a Purell bottle, stick the bottom in the wound and pump like mad.

Thank you to whoever was the connection for the ketamine. We have heard many reports of doing procedures with no lidocaine and no sedation. We are proud to be more humane with our care.

The toughest thing to hear today was news from the epicenter of the quake. We met a news crew from Democracy Now tonight who just returned from there. I believe it is about 15 miles from here, but took more than an hour of travel. NO ONE is there! There are absolutely no rescue teams. The UN says they are waiting for security before going. People are digging through the rubble (which is mostly concrete) with their bare hands. The stench is horrendous.

Grassroots efforts are the most organized thing right now. There absolutely needs to be more organization and a response on a massive scale.

We all must get to sleep. We already have a line-up of fractures to cast and wounds to clean in the morning.

Thank you to everyone who helped us get here. We may be small, but add together all the groups like us and the difference will be huge."