Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Haiti is the World's Katrina for Patients

One week after the earthquake, hospital patients linger without food, water, and pain killers as they wait for surgery at Port-au-Prince's General Hospital. Doctor Lyon begged on CNN for supplies and operating instruments, mostly for amputations.

Nursing home patients crater outside their fallen facility, cared for by two orderlies and a few family members. Hospital and nursing home patients were ignored for up to five days after Hurricane Katrina. It's now seven in Haiti.

News reports talk of "slow improvement." President Obama promised "slow & steady progress." Be clear, every day of slowness means thousands more die. Authorities say the greatest risk is from untreated wounds and rising disease, not falling debris.

While death toll estimates grew from 30,000 to 100,000 to 200.000, UN Chief Ban Ki-Moon told desperate Haitians to "be patient." It's hell being a patient after a disaster, especially when it seems like no cavalry is coming. Evacuating in place is hell. Words can't dress wounds.

No comments: