In Haiti, every day is like a new universe
Published: January 20, 2010
From Port-au-Price, Haiti: Every day is like a new universe.
Thats how a doctor trying to organize the aid effort at the main hospital described the situation to me. Once you think you have a handle on things, it all changes.
There are no phones. No walkie-talkies. They have runners. As in someone literally runs from, say, the pediatric unit to an operating room on the opposite side of the compound to pass on the message.
The doctors wear white T-shirts with their names written on them in sharpie. I meet a Dr. Nathan walking around giving out tetanus vaccines. There are boxes and boxes of supplies, but no one seems to have what they need.
One doc in green scrubs stopped Capt. Bill Ives, a doctor with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, to ask for a wrench. Apparently you need something like it to open and close the valves of an oxygen tank. Ives whipped out from his uniform the tool designed specifically for that task and handed it over.
Youre my savior, the doc said.
Ives handed out quite a bit of his equipment. The battlefield tourniquets were quite popular.