On January 12, 2010, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, was shattered by a violent earthquake that killed or injured thousands of its citizens. Local emergency services became overwhelmed and international assistance was required. French relief teams were deployed to assist local hospitals in caring for the victims. The medical care activity of the team at Diquini Hospital from January 17-26 was analyzed.
Priority was given to surgery, leading to the creation of a pre- and post-operative area and a medical care unit. Special attention was required for infection prevention, pain relief, minor surgery, and pre-surgery triage. The continual influx of accompanied victims necessitated the creation of a receiving area.
In spite of the assistance from several foreign surgical teams, some patients had to be evacuated to French or American facilities, particularly children, patients with spinal cord injuries, and those needing intensive care.
Analysis of the actions undertaken highlights the importance of well-prepared and flexible medical teams and the ability to provide local and regional anesthesia, including the necessary medical supplies and equipment. Medical care activity, especially post-surgical care, was a predominant, ongoing need. The ability to provide medical care required organization and cooperation among local health care providers and other relief workers.
BennerP, StephanJ, RenardA, PetitjeanF, LargerD, PonsD, PaklepaB, DenielC, LeDreffP. Role of the French Rescue Teams in Diquini Hospital: Port-au-Prince, January 2010. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2012;27(6):1-5.