After the earthquake, Haitian hospitals were overwhelmed by many injuries.

In Haiti, with 1,297 dead and more than 5,700 injured, the provisional balance from Saturday’s earthquake is so high that the country can no longer cope with the flow of victims in hospitals. Installed on benches, curled up in chairs or stretched out on the floor on sheets, the wounded crowd into the emergency department of the hospital in Cayes, the country’s third-largest city.

“At the time of the earthquake, there were only three doctors in the department,” says Dr. Michelet Paurus. “This morning (Sunday) things are improving because we received orthopedists, surgeons and also 42 residents who are distributed in all the department’s hospitals,” explains the emergency doctor.

Rudolphe Steven Jacques, a 26-year-old doctor, is one of the health professionals who came from the capital, Port-au-Prince. “The lack of material is chronic, it depends on arrivals. Look, this woman has been waiting a while for me to suture it, but I don’t have a tray for that right now, ”laments the practitioner, pointing to a large wound on the leg of a patient sitting in the corner. .

In the small rooms of this hospital, patients and doctors jostle. “Many injured continue to arrive this morning, I did not expect it: they are those who come from more remote areas,” says Dr. Jacques. Immediately after the earthquake, the hospitals in Les Cayes were saturated.

“When the earthquake happened I was at home. A vibration sent me flying through the air and I landed on my arm. […] I went to several hospitals: but they were overloaded, ”recalls Venel Senado. “This morning I came here and they finally treated me. I put on a free radio and they also put that cast on me, free of charge, ”he said relieved, showing his right arm. His house completely destroyed, he waits in the hospital courtyard for one of the medicines he was prescribed to be available at the pharmacy of the establishment, the ones located in the center of the city having remained closed.

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Already treated but under observation, many injured settle on the lawns around the buildings. They still fear going back inside the buildings, traumatized by the frequent aftershocks. “People are afraid to go home, but tonight we are going to rain,” explains Dr. Paurus. “We are going to try to put them in that room because the ceiling is made of tin. For the children in the pediatric ward, we will try to set up tents in the yard ”, he adds.

In fact, Tropical Storm Grace could affect the area in the next few hours. “If it rains as much as we predict, we really don’t know what we are going to do. It is in rapid succession, we cannot ”, alarmed Dr. Michelet Paurus. For the island to recover from the horror, the help promised by the international community is eagerly awaited.

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