Disasters & Accidents

Haitian hospitals continue receiving wounded from Saturday quake

By Maria Montecelos

Les Cayes, Haiti, Aug 20 (EFE).- Wounded people from last week’s magnitude 7.2 earthquake in Haiti continued to arrive Friday in hospitals in Les Cayes, while the most serious patients were airlifted by the dozen daily to Port-au-Prince.

Haitian authorities have so far reported 2,200 deaths and about 12,000 injuries, figures that will increase as days pass, as many remain missing, although chances of finding people alive under the rubble are reducing.

Emergency workers from different countries have been traveling to Haiti to assist the relief effort in the areas most affected by the earthquake, although according to Doctor Ronal Laroche, people trapped by landslides don’t normally survive for more than five days.

The doctor, head of the DASH hospital chain, said there are three factors that affect the chances of survival after this time: The general condition of the victim before the earthquake (diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, etc.) the type of injuries suffered in the earthquake and environmental conditions.

Guillaume Sylvera, head of Civil Protection of Les Cayes, told EFE that, although in previous days the institution had carried out rescue operations in places such as Maniche or Camp Perrin, they were no longer looking for landslide victims in the area.

At the Hospital Ofatma des Cayes, patients receive care in the corridors that lead to a central courtyard where there is a marquee and several tents installed to increase the capacity of facilities and give care to new patients, some in severe pain.

A plank with some cushions and a quilt serves as a stretcher for a domestic transfer by van to the central gate when patients cannot move, although there are even those who enter on their own or with some help.

This is the case of Louisene Chery, who was injured by the earthquake, but delayed in receiving treatment.

After a preliminary medical examination, She told EFE she feels great pain in her left side because several concrete blocks fell on her when she took off a table from a wall.

“All the concrete blocks fell on me, I tried to dodge them, but I couldn’t,” she said.

“Now I don’t know what’s going on. Sometimes I feel better but at the moment I feel like I’m losing all my ribs.”

Marc Elie Vital, who said he fractured his left foot due to a motorcycle accident when the tremor struck, is in the same facilities.

“When the earthquake happened, I was in the hospital room, which trembled. My foot, which had begun to heal, broke again. That is why I have returned here. I still cannot find the care that my case needs,” he said.

Some patients who on the day of the disaster were transferred to the capital to undergo complex surgeries have returned to Les Cayes for the postoperative period, such as Lucenne Cherie, who is recovering from a broken leg.

When the earth shook she was in the backyard of her house and immediately tried to get out, but the structure came over him “I felt something grab me and hit me,” but despite being injured, “I could find a small space, I ran and got out.” But then, “a loose piece of a house fell and broke my foot,” she said.

“From Saturday to Monday I was here (at the Ofatma Hospital). On Tuesday they transferred me to Port-au-Prince, they operated on me there yesterday,” she said. EFE


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