French medics report mass amputations in Haiti

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Medecins Sans Frontieres staff say they have never seen so many people with serious injuries and expect to carry out 400 amputations over the coming days.

Paris – French doctors treating earthquake victims in Haiti said Sunday they had never seen so many people seriously injured and were having to carry out hundreds of amputations.

Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders, MSF) "have carried out caesareans and amputations. MSF's experienced medical staff say they have never seen so many people with such serious injuries," the group said in a statement issued in Paris.

Another French aid group, Medecins du Monde, said it would have to amputate hundreds of people whose limbs had been crushed in the earthquake and its doctors had no electricity to work by.

"Unfortunately, we are carrying out an enormous number of amputations," said one surgeon quoted in a statement by the group. He expected about "400 (amputations) over the coming days."

"Conditions are very precarious. We have no electricity or telephone network," he added.

MSF cited its emergency coordinator Hans van Dillen as saying that crowds arrived almost immediately when the group opened an emergency hospital at Carrefour, a poor district near the town of Leogane.

"Patients arrived on handcarts or on men's backs. There are other hospitals in the area, but they are already unable to cope with the number of injured and have limited resources of personnel and medicines and equipment," he said.

MSF already had 30 volunteers working in Haiti when the quake struck and has since been able to send in another 70 international workers to the capital.

It said its work was being seriously hampered by disruptions at Port-au-Prince's airport and made an urgent call to speed up the landing of aeroplanes carrying medical supplies, after one carrying an inflatable field hospital was turned away on Saturday night.

"The logjam is a major difficulty, forcing a number of important freight flights to turn back," MSF said.

The World Health Organisation has estimated that between 40,000 to 50,000 people were killed in the earthquake, the United Nations said Sunday.

AFP / Expatica

1 Comment To This Article

  • LEL, Minnesota, USA posted:

    on 19th January 2010, 02:04:27 - Reply

    I've heard the French accuse the USA of 'invading Haiti! If this its true it is OUTRAGEOUS! America has plenty of poverty stricken cities within it's own boarders, let alone those outside. Haiti isn't exactly a jewel in the Atlantic you know. The French have more of a connection with Haiti than the USA, maybe you guys should send your troops in. After you surrender, we'll backup your retreat!