HAS performs nearly 2,000 major surgeries per year, many of which are a matter of life and death, in addition to many more minor surgeries. Motor vehicle crashes (including both cars and motorcycles) represent 19 percent of all HAS surgery patients, 40 percent of all trauma patients and 50 percent of blunt force trauma patients who seek care at HAS.
We support efforts of other organizations in Haiti who are working to educate the public about the importance of wearing helmets and following road safety rules. At the same time, HAS continues to adapt to this unintended result of post-earthquake road improvements, helping patients heal and return to productive lives following vehicle accidents. This Day of Remembrance is, for HAS, as much about acknowledging those we have lost as it is about saving as many more lives as we can, every day.
Meet Amelise, a young woman from a town called Saint Marc, located outside of the HAS district. When trying to cross the street in her crowded hometown, which has been filled with motor vehicles following road improvements in the area, a car whipped around the corner where she was standing and threw her to the ground. The majority of the impact was taken in her right lower leg, where she sustained a tibia fracture and a very deep cut.
Amelise went first to her nearest hospital and received initial care for the broken bone and the wound. However, after a few weeks she noticed that her infection was worsening and decided to make the hour-long journey by car to HAS. “If I didn’t come here, I could have lost my leg because of this infection.” She was treated by the surgeons, nurses, and operating room staff, and in 12 days she was declared free of infection and able to walk out, with the aid of crutches, on her own two feet. “I love this hospital and I got such good service here. Now I am relaxed because I am sure that I will keep my leg.”