Update on the situation in Haiti

Haiti was stricken by a catastrophic earthquake of 7.0 magnitude.  The main city of Port-au-Prince close to the epicenter was severely damaged. Others cities like Leogane and Jacmel are also hit. An estimation of 100,000 lives lost has been recorded. This unfolding tragedy in front of our own eyes has reached historical proportion.

The AMHE Relief Mission of the Haitian Physicians Abroad is monitoring the situation very closely. The New York Chapter disaster relief has sent a note asking physicians to volunteers and the line up is good. 60 physicians are already signed up, ready to go. We encourage emergency physicians, nurses, dialysis technicians to be in line. However we have to insure a long term commitment since everyone can not go at once.

Contacts have been made with other organizations US agency for international development (www. usaid.org) and USsouth.com for logistics. Other organizations AAP, (Dr Danielle Laraque), MSSM We are in contact with Haiti through our Relief member Dr Aldy Castor who is helping us in assessing the situation, the president of AMH (Association Medical Haitienne), Dr Claude Surena. Information gathered so far indicates that aftershocks of Richter scale magnitude of 4 to 5 are still occurring.

Major problems facing the citizens of Haiti remain

  • dehydration
  • bleeding
  • crush injuries
  • eye injuries
  • fractures and dislocations
  • respiratory ailments
  • risks for infection (diarrheas)
  • acute depression

As soon as the logistical problems are solved, the AMHE Relief Mission will develop a bridge with permanent rotations of Haitian Physicians between US Canada (different chapters) and Haiti like we did in 2004.

The organization is looking for IV fluids, Medicines including antibiotics and anti-diarrheal, peritoneal and hemodialysis materials to be shipped immediately.

Because of complications of crush injuries, hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis are needed. The University hospital of Haiti (HUEH) has a four machine hemodialysis unit not very functional in normal time (our own assessment from December 2009). Therefore supplies would be essential for allowing a smooth operation Point of care testing for creatinine, potassium, sodium, and glucose would also be needed http://www.abbottpointofcare.com/istat/. We are in contact with American Society of Nephrology (ASN).

Contact for the Relief Mission

Paul Nacier MD pnacier@aol.com
Eric L. Jerome, MD FACP eljerome@pol.net

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About MSNJ

Founded in 1766, the Medical Society of New Jersey is the oldest professional society in the United States. The organization and its dues-paying members are dedicated to a healthy New Jersey, working to ensure the sanctity of the physician–patient relationship. In representing all medical disciplines, MSNJ advocates for the rights of patients and physicians alike, for the delivery of the highest quality medical care. This allows response to the patients’ individual, varied needs, in an ethical and compassionate environment, in order to create a healthy Garden State and healthy citizens.

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