On January 12, 2010, our teams responded to the massive 7.0-magnitude earthquake in Haiti, arriving on-the-ground within 22 hours of the crisis. We’re still in Haiti today, providing lifesaving medical care to thousands. And at every step of our response over the last two years, we’ve been training local staff and health workers to save lives and provide care within their own communities.
The impact was clear recently when Dr. Vital Hervé, a doctor working at the Hôpital de l’Université d’Etat d’Haiti, saved his patient’s life using a technique he learned during International Medical Corps’ Emergency Course for Doctors.
His patient was very sick, went into shock, and would have otherwise died. However, Dr. Hervé, realizing the dire situation from only his first week of training in the four-week emergency course, quickly identified that fluid around his patient’s heart was about to kill him.
Using a technique known as pericardiocentesis, he was able to relieve pressure on the heart. The patient instantly improved and felt dramatically better, going from severe extremis to breathing comfortably and requesting food to eat for the first time in days.
“Without the International Medical Corps course I would not have known what to do; I cannot thank them enough.”