We are often the only option for patients experiencing a medical emergency or life-threatening illness.
Throughout our history, the hospital has been a refuge and source of hope in emergency and crisis situations.
One of the few medical complexes not heavily damaged by the 2010 earthquake, HAS absorbed a huge influx of patients, many of whom had traveled hours by bus or motorcycle.
For weeks, HAS ran its surgical operating theaters 24 hours per day, and provided ongoing care to many hundreds of injured patients. Our dedicated Haitian doctors and nurses, along with volunteer orthopedic surgeons from the U.S., were able to save many patients from amputation–far more than the national average.
HAS was also the first to identify and begin treating victims of the subsequent cholera epidemic.
Surgery and Trauma Care
HAS provides round-the-clock surgical care in emergency situations, particularly for trauma victims and women with childbirth complications.
- Children make up nearly half of all surgical admissions.
- Approximately 20% of surgeries are trauma-related.
- HAS has one of the few operational blood banks in Haiti, and works in cooperation with the Red Cross to ensure that blood transfusions are safe for all patients.
In Haiti, very few people can afford surgical care and most surgery centers will not treat patients who cannot pay in full. HAS is often the only place that will care for gravely injured patients, regardless of their ability to pay.
With a continually increasing demand for surgical services, particularly emergency and/or trauma surgery, the surgical team works tirelessly to ensure that patients in need have access to these life-saving services.
Haiti has one of the highest maternal and child mortality rates in the world, and infants are especially vulnerable. In fact, the most dangerous day for a Haitian child is the day of their birth.
Expectant mothers in Haiti are also at high risk for severe health complications and even death. In a recent worldwide index on maternal healthcare, Haiti scored near the very bottom.
These realities mean that demand for basic, high quality obstetric and gynecological care grows every year.
The main hospital provides lifesaving care such as emergency Caesarean sections, while most prenatal and postpartum care happens in the community health centers. About a third of all deliveries are performed via Cesarian section, which occurs only when a doctor determines that a natural birth would put the baby or mother at risk.
Pregnant women seek care at HAS for serious complications such as preeclampsia, placenta previa, post-partum hemorrhage, and peripartum cardiomyopathy. These conditions are life-threatening for mothers and their babies, but a modern medical facility like HAS is equipped to stabilize and care for them.
Inpatient Pediatric Care
HAS provides high-quality pediatric care, with over half of the hospital’s available beds reserved for children. Children come to HAS for pediatric surgery, general pediatrics, nutritional rehabilitation, pediatric isolation, and neonatal intensive care.
Children admitted to the hospital often suffer from serious, even life-threatening health conditions, including severe, acute malnutrition, infectious illnesses such as diarrheal diseases and upper respiratory infections, and injuries or conditions that require surgery and rehabilitation.
Last year, children represented 30% of all admissions, but well over half of total patient days, indicating that their cases are often complex and require them to stay in the hospital for a considerable length of time. Babies and children often stay at HAS for many days while they recover from surgery or life-threatening malnutrition.
Children in Haiti are very vulnerable to food insecurity caused by seasonal fluctuations and natural disasters that damage crops. This is especially true for children living in mountainous areas where farming is difficult. They are also easily sickened by contaminated water, which leads to dehydration and loss of nutrients.
Children suffering from life-threatening Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) are referred by HAS community health workers and clinic nurses to the main hospital. There, children are stabilized and their bodies are reaccustomed to nourishing food. Parents or close family members stay with them and are educated about how to maximize nutrient absorption and prevent food- and waterborne diseases.
For decades, HAS has been committed to treating all patients, regardless of their ability to pay. The comprehensive internal medicine and 24-hour observation unit at HAS are always busy and over capacity. For several years, the hospital has exceeded its daily occupancy rates. In 2018, for instance, the average occupancy rate was 137%.
Chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and tuberculosis account for a large portion of adult admissions in 2018. Chronic diseases can result from lack of access to healthy foods, medicines, and health education. These serious, ongoing diseases lead to frequent outpatient consultations and hospital admissions.
HAS cares for patients suffering from AIDS and tuberculosis, which in Haiti often go hand in hand. HAS works to stabilize these patients so they can seek ongoing treatment with antiretroviral drugs.
- HAS has one of the few diagnostic laboratories in Haiti, allowing the hospital to identify difficult-to-diagnose diseases such as antibiotic resistant infections and diphtheria.
- HAS has the capacity to care for cholera patients and has protocols in place to ensure that this deadly, highly contagious waterborne disease will not spread further or infect other patients. With the right care administered quickly enough, the majority of cholera patients will have a full recovery.
HAS remains one of Haiti’s few functioning Rehab/PT programs nearly a decade after the 2010 earthquake. As a result of the earthquake, Haiti has one of the highest amputation rates in the world.
Started in partnership with Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO), our Rehab/PT program has quickly grown and is now considered a vital service not only to patients with orthotics or prosthetics, but also to pediatric patients with developmental delays, stroke and trauma victims, and many others.
In addition to physical and occupational therapy, the Prosthetics and Orthotics (P&O) laboratory, supported by Medi for Help, continues to support patients with amputations or assistive devices.
X-rays are important for diagnosing complications from tuberculosis or cancer, and for planning orthopedic surgeries. HAS uses a modern digital x-ray machine for better precision and clarity.
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