From: Jim Ansara, Partners in Health
Date: Tue, 16 Jul 2013 22:12:44 +0000
To: Paul E. Farmer
Subject: Cat Scan at HUM
It was great to see you and have dinner the other night. Like you, I am so excited about what is going on at Mirebalais and although you are not surprised I am extremely pleased by the rapid progress on both staffing and the numbers of patients, especially really sick ones.
I am flying back from Haiti now and wanted to take a minute to write you about the Cat Scan and how much it is helping the quality of care at the hospital. I can say without any hyperbole, that it is saving many lives! I was hoping you could pass this on to Stephen and Pilar? I have not had the opportunity to meet them, but I would like to express to them my deep appreciation for their support for the CT.
When I arrived at HUM Sunday night the Emergency Room was unfortunately so full that we had annex space in Labor and deliver. There was a horrendous bus accident on the way to the waterfall off rt. 3. There were well over a dozen people seriously injured, including some children. Six patients were critical, some with internal injuries and four with head trauma. Regan and her team did a fantastic job in the ER of triaging the patients and getting them stable. However, the real difference maker was having the CT. Over the next four hours they scanned six critically injured patients. They included an eight year old boy with a fractured skull and intracranial bleeding (am I finally learning the correct terminology?). Regan told me later that they would not have been able to diagnose the swelling and bleeding around his brain with a CT and this led to Luther drilling and relieving the pressure around the brain soon after and likely saving his life. Another patient had C-spine injuries and a Mom had internal injuries and bleeding, both of which would have been very difficult or impossible to correctly and fully diagnose without the CT. Many saw the CT as a "luxury". I think that everyone at HUM would now say that the CT it is a necessity and should be in all the regional hospitals in Haiti.
I left the hospital today feeling so optimistic about the future in Haiti; probably for the first time in years. The vision you and David had crafted for Mirebalais, in those darkest of days after the earthquake at the General Hospital, is coming true. We have young Haitian doctors and nurses really excited, not only about learning and their professional development, but actually excited about doing that within the public health care system. We have a first class facility in rural Haiti that is sustainable and serves hundreds of thousands of people including the most impoverished. We are training the next generation of medical professionals to new standard and fulfilling that most elusive part of the vision, raising the standard of care in Haiti.
I cannot begin to tell you how gratifying this is after three and a half very long and hard years building Mirebalais.