Meeting a Growing Demand for Trauma Care
Trauma from traffic accidents is increasingly common in Haiti, as roads are improved and the volume of traffic increases. Patients admitted following motor vehicle crashes (both cars and motorcycles) represent 19% of all HAS surgery patients, 40% of all trauma patients, and 50% of blunt force trauma patients.
With diagnostic services, such as X-ray and laboratory testing, as well as surgical services, HAS is the only 24/7 option for emergency care in the region. With our surgical suite expanded and renovated in 2011, HAS performs about 150 surgeries each month, many for life-threatening or potentially debilitating health conditions.
“Injuries are a neglected epidemic in developing countries, causing more than five million deaths each year, roughly equal to the number of deaths from HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined….Injuries contribute to poverty, as the economic and social costs impact individuals, communities, and societies.”
– World Health Organization
Healing Therapy for Trauma Victims
HAS also provides complete rehabilitation services, including physiotherapy, in both the hospital and community health clinics, making us one of the only health facilities in Haiti to treat patients with traumatic injuries from surgery to full recovery. Thanks to years of experience and an exceptionally capable staff, we have been able to respond to emergency situations and mass casualties. Without HAS, seriously injured patients would simply have no other place to go.
HAS operates a top-notch Prosthetics and Orthotics (P&O) lab, which was instrumental in responding to the 2010 earthquake. After the two P&O labs in Port-au-Prince were destroyed, we opened our P&O lab within 90 days, and it is now Haiti’s largest such clinic. In the past year especially, the number of patients needing amputations from traumatic accidents in the HAS service area has increased, and our HAS P&O lab has been there to support them. An average of 15 patients are seen in the clinic per week, being outfitted with artificial limbs and learning to regain mobility. The clinic has provided artificial limbs to more than 1000 earthquake victims since opening in 2010.
Patients at the Prosthetics and Orthotics Clinic receive professional evaluations, prosthetics manufactured on-site, physical therapy, and ongoing support for needed adjustments. Haitians are being trained in the clinic to develop the skills necessary to manufacture and repair prosthetics.
Located inland and 40 miles northwest of Port-au-Prince, HAS withstood the earthquake and immediately began serving an influx of patients who were victims of the quake.
In fact, the United Nations (UN) observed that the largest group of residents fleeing the devastated capital city — a number estimated at over 160,000 people — migrated to the Artibonite Valley, where HAS is located. With mass casualty protocols and an operational infrastructure in place, our medical staff at HAS was able to evaluate every patient, perform diagnostic tests and deliver life-saving care.