Sunday morning is usually rather calm in the pediatric and adult wards at the hospital: Few urgent cases, pediatricians, internists and surgeons doing rounds quietly and visiting all their patients, walking from bed to bed, talking with patients and parents, explaining, calming. Not so today: Six orthopedic surgeons, general surgeons and anesthesia doctors from Atlanta were busy checking all surgical patients, X-Rays and medical histories, planning upcoming treatment and operations. They are the second orthopedic team from the well known and renowned Peachtree Clinic in Atlanta coming down to HAS since the earthquake and doing hundreds of difficult orthopedic operations for our victims. They are operating simultaneously in all three operating theatres. Peachtree Orthopedic Clinic, founded by Dr. Bob Wells, former Chair of our Board and lifelong volunteering orthopedic surgeon in Haiti, has a more than 50 year tradition of sending high skill orthopedic surgical teams to HAS. Following the first Peachtree team, a highly efficient nine member team from Sherbrooke University hospital in Canada, consisting of OR nurses, orthopedic surgeons and anesthesia doctors filled the gap between the two Peachtree teams.
Looking back more than three weeks after the catastrophe, I feel a strong sentiment of immense and deep gratitude; first of all for our very competent and persistent Haitian Medical, Nursing and Technical staff at HAS, who were alone managing the incredible workload during the first days and thereafter, handling 66% of all victims without foreign help! I am grateful as well for all the volunteer doctors and nurses, rushing from many countries to help Haiti in this incredible tragedy. We still have a list of over 60 volunteer doctors and nurses ready to join us immediately. Due to limited ORs we only could take a few volutnteers with special skills that could be utilized for the immediate treatment of our patients. For those very well meaning volunteers that we could not accommodate, please forgive us. I am sure there will be a time we will need your help in many ways. Haiti and HAS have great support currently, but this support needs to go on!
Rolf Maibach, Medical Director