Dr. Benitez Haiti Update #3

He said the group saw about 200 patients today, 45 of them children he saw. He saw a lot of kids that were actually sick, not so much with injuries. He said people had heard there was a pediatrician and kids that have been coughing or fever for weeks showed up today. Lots of pneumonias, he’s not sure why. He said certainly they have all been sleeping outside for weeks and maybe that had something to do with it. He also said there were a lot of patients with complications from old wounds. A woman who had a leg amputated and also a diabetic came back in with a glucose of 650, normally it shouldn’t be over say 170 or so. They didn’t have insulin but gave her fluids trying to bring it down. He also said there was  a baby born today. He said the baby wasn’t breathing so they came yelling for Norberto to come help. As he ran into the room the baby started crying on her own, they think she went about 3 minutes. He said at first she was a bit “floppy” but after 5 minutes she started increasing in tonicity. They are keeping her overnight. Evidently, this woman was having the baby right there on the ward floor, he keeps telling me, “wait till you see the pictures”.

An interesting problem is that the plane they came in was donated by a NASCAR team but they just took it out of service for the Daytona 500 so they don’t have a way to come back. He said the guy who is in charge of the group, a Hatian, spent all day trying to find a plane to bring them home on Thursday but got back without luck. Norberto says he keeps saying, “don’t worry” and “no problem” but it would be nice to have that resolved soon.

Lastly, he said the people are super appreciative. When they got back to the house today there were about 12 local men in the yard with popcorn and scotch for the medical team. When they offered Norberto scotch and he said no, they asked him what he liked, he said rum, a little time later one of them showed up with a small bottle of rum for him 🙂

He ended by saying “I’m tired today, yesterday I wasn’t tired, but today I am”.

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