Skip Navigation
  • Text Size: A A A
  • Print
  • Email
  • Facebook
  • Tweet
  • Share

A Day in Haiti

January 26, 2010

Gheskio Field Hospital – Port au Prince, Haiti
International Medical Surgical Response Team
Disaster Medical Assistance Team


Entrance to field hospital is guarded by the 82nd Airborne.

The entrance to the Field Hospital is guarded by the 82 Airborne. Triage is performed in the short hallway before the patient is brought back. Note the crack. It got larger with each aftershock.


Minor treatment room on night shift.

Once the patient is triaged and entered into the Electronic Medical Records system they are brought back to one of several treatment areas. This is the Minor Treatment room on night shift.


Improvised traction device

Nurses operating in austere environments need to be a bit ingenious. This patient’s nurses rigged up a clever traction device. They joked that they used the chunk of concrete that broke the patient’s leg.


Baby in a box that serves as an incubator

This orphan needed an incubator. ICU staff quickly made one. We named him “Baby in a box”.


Procedure room with doctor treating a leg wound.

Patients requiring more advanced procedures go to the “Procedure Room”. Here, conscious sedation is used to allow staff to perform wound debridement and other painful procedures.


Procedure room with doctor giving antibiotics to patient.

This patient was “minding my own business” when he was shot with a shotgun. The pellets were removed in the Procedure Room and the patient was released with antibiotics.



Patients and medical staff shown in the ICU which also services as the post-op area.

Patients requiring advanced care are brought to the ICU, which also doubles as Post-Op.


Medical team staff tends child in ICU.

This child was transferred to us from another hospital where he was rapidly deteriorating. He was stabilized in the ICU and transferred the next day to the USNS Comfort.


View from ICU/post-op area to curtained-off operating room.

The pride and joy of the IMSuRT is our surgical capability. This is the view from the ICU/Post Op.


Surgeons operating on patient.

More than thirty operations were performed in the first week, including abdominal surgery, Cesarean Section delivery and many, many orthopedic cases. The surgeon second from the left, Dr. Carl Shulman, is from Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Medical Center in Miami.


Litter bearers transport two children on one litter.

Sometimes the children were brought in two to a litter to save space. These children, and four others, came in at the same time from a damaged orphanage. One child had a badly injured leg.


Young amputee is held by medical staff.

In spite of their best efforts surgeons had to amputate that child’s leg above the knee in order to save his life. The stress of dealing with these injuries is painful to endure day after day.


Outside view of tents of the field hospital.

While we work hard to provide this level of care, the conditions are truly austere, especially for Americans that are not used to third-world countries.

Bandaged child is held by medical staff.

But just to know you made a difference in one life makes it all worthwhile.


Peter Allen who took the photos and provided the text is with the IMSuRT team at the Gheskio Field Hospital, Port au Prince, Haiti.