Update – January 26, 2010

contributed by Cassandra Chapman, volunteer coordinator from NPH DR and Robin Schwartz

A visiting physician examines a young child in a temporary medical tent

The St. Damien Hospital is looking more and more like its pre-quake self (except for the very visible reminders cracking through the paintwork of most walls). The patients have now been moved inside or transferred to other hospitals. The percentage of children is continually rising, and there are fewer and fewer families camping on the ground. Those families that remain are all living together in one section of the garden.

Today 58 new patients arrived, of which 17 were admitted. We continue operating two surgery rooms inside the hospital and today 13 major surgeries were completed. Four patients, (2 children and 2 adults) were sent to the USS Comfort for treatment.

Volunteers have come and go. One large group of Americn surgeons left this afternoon, and a new group of Italian professionals arrived. We still have a severe shortage of nurses and we are confronting those issues the best we can and searching for nursing backup both in and outside of Haiti.

Today we opened a brand new neo-natal ward. We currently have five mothers and six babies (one set of twins!) in the ward, and another young soul is probably being born as I write this. The babies in this new ward are aged between minutes old up to around two and a half weeks. The smallest weighs in at less than 3 pounds!  The Israeli medical team donated the incubators. Other additions to the hospital are a palliative care room, seven post-op tents to receive patients on the property, and the grounds and entire hospital was disinfected by a Slovakian volunteer team.

First minutes

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