Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday Afternoon Update

Dr. Vanek and I have integrated into the Swiss Team called Star of Hope. They have a logistics team with them that arranges preparation of meals, sleeping area under the stars, cold beverages always available, and they maintain a neat and clean campsite. The Swedes have 2-way radios between the Operating Room and their campsite on the roof of the hospital. They have hot coffee and have lots of unusual snacks. I enjoyed some crackers that covered with Kalles Kaviar (caviar) out of a tube like toothpaste. They also have Kalles Bacon (delicious!) and Kalles Cheese. I also learned that peanut butter is very expensive in Sweden and I scored big when I gave them 4 small jars of Jif.

To read more about Star of Hope, click here.

What Your Support Means

Almost two weeks after the earthquake, Project Medishare is still at the forefront of efforts to bring urgently needed medical care to victims. They were the first to respond, and continue to operate with great efficiency and efficacy thanks to Project Medishare's strong relationships and long experience working in Haiti. Click here to learn more about the organization's history with Haiti.

The extraordinary support of local and national benefactors has been nothing short of miraculous. Friends, family, neighbors, fellow Clevelanders, and even caring strangers have played an important part in that miracle.

Thank you to those of you who have already given. To date, we have raised $2300. Your generous gift will support doctors like Jack and Paul in their critical relief efforts. If you have not given, please click here to make your tax-deductible donation through our Cleveland-Haiti Relief Fund Team, an officially registered fund raising team with Project Medishare. All contributions will go directly and immediately to Project Medishare's Earthquake Relief Fund, which provides medicine, supplies, and equipment in order to re-establish Haiti's health infrastructure, helping to make the transition from rescue and relief to rebuilding. On Thursday, Congress passed H.R. 442, legislation which will make Haiti relief donations made up until March 1, 2010 deductible on 2009 income taxes.

Please keep Jack, Paul, Theresa, and Jean in your thoughts and prayers. Your love and support brings them great comfort and sustains them in what must be an alarming and challenging time.

Reports on Surgery Conditions

Click here to read an article from Doctors Without Borders about the need for long-term post-operative care, concerns about the structural stability of hospitals, and the need for healthcare outside the city of Port-au-Prince.

British surgeon Paul McMaster working for Doctors Without Borders reports on surgery conditions, lack of medical supplies, and logistical problems. Click here to read this article from The Independent.

If you are having trouble viewing this video, click here

Friday Evening Update

We're still in surgery at 10pm hoping we can call it a day soon. Doing amputation of leg on 56 year old man that fractured his leg. Dr. Vanek saved a 15 year old boy today. But he is severely anemic with Hb=3 preop. We borrowed 2 units blood from our other patient to keep him alive in recovery room overnight. We are fighting to receive more blood tomorrow for him which required a special meeting with hospital administration and we were assured he would be airlifted to US Compassion offshore.

A young plastic surgeon from Dallas just visited us to see our surgery. She showed me photos of IMC-Internal Medical Center (Red Cross) and their MASH unit. Community Hospital is a private hospital, nicely equipped and staffed. There are patients outside due to structural damage from the earthquake. They had to convert their emergency room into operating rooms. The National Hospital collapsed and that was widely covered by the media. As a side note, we've heard different estimates on the prevalence of HIV among Haitians. Today I was told it used to be 10% but now its 2.5%. I will check that when I get home. Two surgeons just signed out three patients to us since they return home tomorrow.

We operated 15 hours today and 12-15 hours yesterday. We start at 7:45am tomorrow and have three big cases so far.