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Malcolm Smith: Update from Haiti

Dr Malcolm Smith, (Orthopaedic Surgeon at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA has been providing valuable clinical service in Haiti. Read one of his email dispatches from Haiti.

You can read more dispatches from Dr Malcolm Smith here.

From Malcolm Smith, MD:
Sent: Jan. 20, 2:50 pm

Summary diary for today: Had a small disturbance this AM when limited visitors at gate to reduce numbers of people in the hospital. As you may expect a lot of care is given by families. Settled when interpreter and I explained to crowd. Was really only shouting pushing and a few fists and was improving when I got there. Completely calm since, have asked DC for UN security to maintain safety but feel OK.

Argentinian UN military stopped for short visit then left promising to come back, did not. No more trouble. Lots of people but calm. Have been offered help from Congressman Capuano‬ ‘s office in DC. Sounds wonderful, hopefully can get supplies in to local soccer field by air. Expecting Akshay, our second anesthetist tonight and James, our own Hatian orthopedic resident, with more MGH nurses to fly tomorrow …

Working very well as a team ourselves, so impressed with these people. Have raided local warehouse for stores, found lots of unopened aid boxes, some gloves, drapes, etc. but will need surgical supplies soon. Discovered the only blood tests we can do is a crit and cross match. No facilities to do electrolytes. Problem with rhabdo patients so watching urine color and volume pushing fluid and diagnosing acidosis clinically …

Had to operate for a short time with head lights when power cut this evening … Finally about to do our first laparotomy as have Selwyn with us but being delayed by C section that just happened — our anesthetist helped baby looks fine. Life really just goes on.

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