Saturday, January 16, 2010

I have a new found respect for Dr. Sanjay Gupta from CNN

it makes me wish he accept his nomination for Surgeon General. God help the people of Haiti...


Port-au-Prince, Haiti (CNN) -- Earthquake victims, writhing in pain and grasping at life, watched doctors and nurses walk away from a field hospital Friday night after United Nations officials ordered a medical team to evacuate the area out of security concerns.

The only doctor left was CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta. He assessed the needs of the 25 patients, but with no supplies there was little he could do.

And more people, some in critical condition, were trickling in late Friday.

"I've never been in a situation like this. This is quite ridiculous," Gupta said.

With a dearth of medical facilities in Haiti's capital, ambulances had nowhere else to take patients, some who had suffered severe trauma -- amputations and head injuries. Others had suffered a great deal of blood loss, but there were no blood supplies left at the clinic.

Search and rescue must trump security. ... They need to man up and get back in there.

Gupta said some might not survive the night.

He said the Belgian doctors did not want to leave their patients behind but were ordered out by the United Nations, which sent buses to transport them.

"There is concern about riots not far from here -- and this is part of the problem," Gupta said.

There have been scattered reports of violence throughout the capital.

"What is striking to me as a physician is that patients who just had surgery, patients who are critically ill are essentially being left here, nobody to care for them," Gupta said.

Sandra Pierre, a Haitian who has been helping at the makeshift hospital, said the medical staff took most of the supplies with them.

"All the doctors, all the nurses are gone," she said. "They are expected to be back tomorrow. They had no plan on leaving tonight. It was an order that came suddenly."

She told Gupta, "It's just you."

A 7.0 magnitude earthquake flattened Haiti's capital city Tuesday afternoon, affecting as many as 3 million people. Tens of thousands of people are feared dead.

Haiti, the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere, lacked adequate medical resources even before the disaster and has been struggling this week to tend to huge numbers of injured. The U.N. clinic, set up under several tents, was a godsend to the few who were lucky to have been brought there.

It was not known whether the medical team would return in daylight.

Retired Army Lt. Gen. Russell Honoré, who led relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina in 2005, said the evacuation of the clinic's medical staff was unforgivable.

"Search and rescue must trump security," Honoré said. "I've never seen anything like this before in my life. They need to man up and get back in there."

Honoré drew parallels between the tragedy in New Orleans and in Port-au-Prince. But even in the chaos of Katrina, he said, he had never seen medical staff walk away.

"I find this astonishing these doctors left," he said. "People are scared of the poor."


Unknown said...

So happy that Gupta was there! The savior of the distressed! How odd that he is always there to criticize everybody else and at the same time is able to perform brain surgery in Iraq, Haiti etc. with a full crew of reporters present etc. Can you imagine him being surgeon general? Only if he could make it on TV? It is NOT Ok to criticize other simple people who are trying to do good to further yourself. Knowing somebody on the Belgian Bfast team, Dr, Gupta, it is NOT OK to get some juicy stories while at the same time getting ready to perform surgery. I have always been a great fan of yours, but am extremely disappointed by your advancing yourself instead of getting down to the real facts? I am talking about simple Belgian citizens who are leaving their families to help other people in distress. I was a big fan of you and CNN, but have to agree with the Europeans...American sensation! GET REAL DR. GUPTA!!!

Flippin' Yank said...

@Anne Marie

This is not a case of criticizing others because of their nationality. The doctors who happened to be Belgian were criticized because they abandoned their patients. What kind of doctor abandons their patients who are in critical condition and fend for themselves? Have they not taken the Hippocratic Oath? The doctors left on their own accord and were not ordered by the UN, it was very bad judgement that all of them left the field hospital that night.

Dr. Gupta didn't have to do what he did that night and I don't think he was doing it for sensationalism. I think he did it because it was his duty as a DOCTOR!! Even when the Belgian doctors came back the next morning, one doctor told him that has never been so embarrassed to be a Belgian! A Belgian himself said this. In this instance, what the doctors did was despicable!

I still admire Dr. Gupta. He's done a lot in Haiti extending his services as a doctor. He also performed brain surgery and a 12 year old girl whose brain was embedded with concrete. This was not televised and as the only neurosurgeon available in Haiti, other doctors seeked him out and asked him to do it!

It is a beautiful act of humanity that people all over the world are working together to help. I commend them.

What have you done to help?

Anonymous said...

It was most disturbing seeing those doctors pile up in their air conditioned bus, making the victory sign and taking pictures before they drove away.

sanjay4ever said...

@anne marie - i don't care if he's in stage makeup with an understudy. if good work gets done that's all that matters. why don't you fly down to haiti if you think you can do so much better.