First true EMS call in Port-Au-Prince – MMRC Haiti update 08/03/2010

Posted: August 4, 2010 in Uncategorized

I believe that today was the first true EMS call that has happened in PAP that was not earthquake related.

At approximately 10:45am we received calls from multiple sources that there was a multi vehicle, multi trauma accident with anywhere from 9-14 victims on Route 9 near the intersection of Route 1. It turns out that a bystander called it in to IMC and GRU. From there both groups called MMRC and asked us to get an ambulance and respond. We geared up and headed over to the general to get both ambulances and respond code 3.

It turns out that only 1 of the ambulances was fueled up and ready to go so Sully, Miki, Riann and myself headed out. LP and Ralph were going in the second rig once it had fuel in it.

En route to the accident I called Medishare and informed them of the information we had been given. They began their preparations for up to 14 trauma victims and asked for an update when we arrived. It took us about 20 minutes to get there from the general and thankfully when we arrived there was only 1 victim.

It turns out that a truck went off the road, rolled and hit a tree. The patient we had was the driver and he had been ejected from his seat. We briefly searched for other victims and asked the crowd to confirm that no one else was hurt. Truthfully, the driver had almost no chance of living but when Riaan checked his vitals he felt a thready pulse with no spontaneous respirations so we had to do everything we could to save him and get him to Medishare.

We put in an LMA and started bagging him immediately. It was our first time using an LMA in the field but it went in without any problems and we were getting decent tidal movement.

As we were treating him on scene, putting on a C-collar, and securing him to a back board Sully was clearing a path for us through the fallen trees. I’ve never been so glad that he carries that 18″ knife with him everywhere he goes. After some hacking and chopping Sully had cleared a usable path for us to get through.

So we have him secured to the back board and get him on the rig. Riaan is suctioning all the blood out, Miki is bagging him and I’m about to throw in a line when he codes and we have to team him. I toss everything into the cubby on the rig and since I have the best angle I began compressions with one hand while I’m holding on to the railing in the rig for dear life since the driver is driving like a bat out of hell.

We end up doing CPR for the next 15 minutes until we arrived at Medishare and the patient is pronounced dead.

Now as sad as this is there really was no chance for survival. He had multiple flail segments on his right chest, multiple head trauma, significant facial trauma and was completely unresponsive.

The other thing to keep in mind is that with more work and training the system can work here. Protocol was followed, the driver did his job, communications between hospitals and first responders was clear, and now at least one person knows that they can call for help.

I know there is so much more that needs to be done to make this work, but you have to start somewhere. As unfortunate it is that this man died, his death is a landmark for improvement. When his brother approached me and asked me if he was dead or not I had to tell him that his brother had passed. All this man did was thank us for trying and then he told me it was all in God’s hands and we were angels sent to him to try and save his brother.

In the end this man’s death, though unfortunate was not needless. Now we know what else has to be done here to make Haiti a better place.

After everything that happened today there is one last thing I want to announce. We are beginning to teach basic first aid and first responder classes. It started tonight actually at Medishare when Riaan taught 5 OR personnel the very basics. The class went very well and the students are hungry for more. We’ve spoken to some of our police contacts and will be teaching them next week. I’m so glad to say the MMRC is doing its part to leave a legacy in Haiti.

This also leads me to another point. We have so much to do here and today was historical. As I have been going over our finances it is apparent that without major help we will not be able to stay here past the end of September. Please donate so we can stay here and make a positive change that will last generations. Please pass this on to every person and business you know of.

I am literally on my knees begging you to do this because if we can’t raise $20,000 in the next 2 weeks we will have to execute our exit strategy and be gone by September 30. If this happens it will leave so many Haitians without a chance for a better life.

Please go to and donate today.

All my love to everyone that reads this.

Big Paul

  1. With all the great work you are doing in the medical field in Haiti, how come the large medical org. Like the Red Cross are not contributing? Or some of the pharma places?

  2. […] First true EMS call in Port-Au-Prince – MMRC Haiti update 08/03 … […]

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