EMS in Haiti

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habibti74

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I went to Haiti in September to work as a nurse (I'm an ER nurse in Central IL) and needless to say, well, there was no EMS system there. The clinic I worked at had an "ambulance" that was a guy pushing a wheelbarrow and making ambulance noises.

The hospital had no air conditioning (it was averaging 108 degrees down there) and you had to pay before they let you in, you got expired medications (if they had any) and any food/water you wanted, your family would have to bring you.

We had a surgeon on our team who did some surgeries down there, using a battery operated pulse ox, no intubation and the OR wasn't air-conditioned either.

The clinic I worked at saw 2218 patients in 8 days. People waited 2-3 days to see the doctors and no one fought, complained about the wait, and most of the time, they were too ill for us to do anything for anyway. We didn't have a lot of drugs to hand out, no lab tests, no x-rays - we gave albuterol, tylenol, some hypertension medicines, some diabetes medicines, we did what we could but of course it probably wasn't enough. We saw tons of scabies, malaria, osteomyelitis, burns, worms, and ortho stuff.

One of the most common EMS problems was motorcycle accidents. None of the roads had street signs, speed limits, traffic lights, lane markers and people were all over the place. So yeah, lots of traffic accidents in their high speed motorcycles.

Made me thankful to come home and even more frustrated to see people complaining about the 1 hour waits for the chronic back pain! I have photos from the clinic - PM me if you want to see!
 

NomadicMedic

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Hello, interesting post. I'm curious which group you went to Haiti with… And which hospital or clinic you worked at. I went to Haiti last year, working as a paramedic with EMPACT Northwest and Project Medishare. Our group has established the first EMS agency in Port Au Prince and we've had great success there at the hospital. Hospital Bernard Mevs is the only trauma center in Haiti. There's an ICU, NICU, full OR suite and to ALS staffed medic units. Search for details on my Haiti experience… It seems a little different than yours.
 
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habibti74

habibti74

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I was with a clinic in Jacmel Haiti (about three hours south of Port-au-Prince) I'll PM about it as I don't want to seem like I'm saying anything negative on a public forum about them. Needless to say, I was not thrilled with my experience. I would love to do more overseas work and would love to hear about your experience in Haiti.

Can you link me up to the thread?
 

WTEngel

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I like the user name habibti. I spent about a year in Saudi Arabia with the Red Crescent. It was one of the most rewarding personal and professional experiences of my life.

It is a shame you can't say the same about Haiti, but foreign medical experience will vary.
 

NomadicMedic

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As I mentioned in the p.m., I was involved with EMPACT Northwest, a group that does a lot of work in Haiti along with project medishare. You can find out more if you search for my "haiti"thread, or visit Papmo.org
 

mycrofft

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habibti74

habibti74

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I like the user name habibti. I spent about a year in Saudi Arabia with the Red Crescent. It was one of the most rewarding personal and professional experiences of my life.

Thanks! :) I'm a Muslim girl, wear a headscarf all the time, even when working in the ER or on the back of the ambulance. I get comments on it all the time. :) Often drunks make the funniest ones "What are you all wrapped up for?" "It's COLD! What do you THINK?!" I usually tell them. LOL
 

dstevens58

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My first experience was back in the mid-70's, while in the military stationed in Japan. We (ambulance crew of Navy medics) had to respond to a very rural area in Japan about three hours' drive from the base to pick up a Marine injured in a minor car collision. I was amazed at the scale of medicine in Japan. Full-featured, all the amenities in cities, to local backwoods medicine in the rural areas.

I would love to do some international travel and medical missions after I graduate medic school. How does that work? Are you under a medical director, protocols and the like?
 

firehiker

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I haven't been on this forum in nearly a year! ....that said, I KNEW this would be the place to ask a basic question, that, when doing a search in the forums, often turns up a host of wrong directions. That said, here's the question I wanted to ask:
"If I accompany a private engineering firm (my father's company) to Haiti for 5 weeks, along with a group of other contractor/engineers...AS A SECURITY OFFICER (I have security certs), in what capacity would I be able to ALSO operate as a NREMT Licensed Paramedic (a nod to, and a "let's move on" regarding LP vs EMT-P discussion)? Pardon my horrible sentence structure.
So, in a nutshell...
If I am there, and need to perform emergency procedures on one of the group...what are my limitations?
Do I need to find a local medical director/medical control?
Where does operating without a license begin? Maybe just perform first aid with the "knowledge" of ALS procedures?
I know all the Dr's, nurses, emt's and medics that are over there are working under a group's MD's license...but right now, this is just a group of "travelers" that expressed interest in having me along to 1) look over them, and 2) fix them up...their words.
Anyone? Thanks in advance for any insight and/or information!
 

SliceOfLife

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I haven't been on this forum in nearly a year! ....that said, I KNEW this would be the place to ask a basic question, that, when doing a search in the forums, often turns up a host of wrong directions. That said, here's the question I wanted to ask:
"If I accompany a private engineering firm (my father's company) to Haiti for 5 weeks, along with a group of other contractor/engineers...AS A SECURITY OFFICER (I have security certs), in what capacity would I be able to ALSO operate as a NREMT Licensed Paramedic (a nod to, and a "let's move on" regarding LP vs EMT-P discussion)? Pardon my horrible sentence structure.
So, in a nutshell...
If I am there, and need to perform emergency procedures on one of the group...what are my limitations?
Do I need to find a local medical director/medical control?
Where does operating without a license begin? Maybe just perform first aid with the "knowledge" of ALS procedures?
I know all the Dr's, nurses, emt's and medics that are over there are working under a group's MD's license...but right now, this is just a group of "travelers" that expressed interest in having me along to 1) look over them, and 2) fix them up...their words.
Anyone? Thanks in advance for any insight and/or information!

You realize different countries have different laws right?
 

mycrofft

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Deserves it's own post.
 

ffemt8978

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Consult a lawyer. Thread closed per our No Legal Advice rule.
 
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