• From Dr. Evan Lyon, 7:00pm, from the General Hospital (HUEH) in Port-au-Prince: “Incredible progress in our capacity here. 7 ORs running. 10-12 by tomorrow night. We have electricity and will be operating overnight tonight for the first time.”
• Surgical services are ramping up rapidly at the central hospital in Port-au-Prince, where PIH has been assigned by the World Health Organization to coordinate the response of seven other non-governmental organizations from around the world. Five operating rooms are now staffed and performing surgeries around the clock. But they have a desperate need for all the resources required to run a hospital: surgical equipment—anesthesia machines, sterilizers, autoclaves; surgical consumables—alcohol, suture; surgical instruments—scalpels, saws; and the essentials of life—water, food, and fuel. PIH has managed to deliver some essential supplies. With more than 1,000 patients awaiting surgery, large-scale shipments from larger governmental and charitable organizations are urgently needed.
• Hundreds of thousands of earthquake victims need food, water, and shelter NOW. While scattered incidents of violence have made the headlines, they are no excuse for delaying delivery of humanitarian assistance. Our team on the ground, which has been criss-crossing Port-au-Prince at all hours, reports that the city is remarkably calm and quiet amidst the devastation. While security must be a concern wherever and whenever people are desperate to provide for themselves and their families, the most effective response is not military intervention but massive, well-organized, and equitable humanitarian assistance.
• Paul Farmer, PIH co-founder, is in Port-au-Prince today meeting with government officials and international relief organizations to assist in the coordination of the relief efforts.
• Yesterday, a PIH team of 25 medical professionals (surgical teams, anesthesiologists, emergency room physicians and nurses) arrived in Haiti and were operating and caring for patients within hours after they touched down. Many of the patient they are seeing are very serious cases (mostly amputations). There remains a great need for additional medicines (anesthesia and narcotics), medical equipment (anesthesia machines and x-rays), medical supplies (IV’s, tubing, irrigating saline), and water. PIH will be sending additional planes with medical teams and supplies into Haiti in the course of the next 48 hours.
• Yesterday, PIH succeeded in transporting four very critical patients and one guardian out of Haiti on a MedEvac plane to Philadelphia, where they landed in the early morning hours today. All four patients desperately needed surgical and post-op care not possible under current conditions in Haiti. To the best of our knowledge these are among the first patients evacuated to the US since the earthquake. All four patients survived the trip to Philadelphia and are already receiving the urgent care they need.