The surgical units set up by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Port-au-Prince continue to work around the clock to treat the vast numbers of patients with injuries from the earthquake. Prioritizing the most serious cases, the teams have been performing cesarian sections and amputations. Experienced MSF medical staff say they have never seen so many serious injuries. In Choscal hospital, where MSF relocated after its original facilities were so badly damaged, staff in the operating theatre have been working non-stop since early on Friday.

MSF demands deployment of lifesaving medical equipment be given priority

On the fifth day on their response to the disaster in Haiti, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams remain focused on trying to cope with the huge demand for lifesaving surgery from those who suffered terrible injuries in the quake. They are doing that by stretching their existing, limited operating theatres to the limit by working around-the-clock, while at the same time trying to create more capacity by finding new premises and transporting in mobile structures.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams in Port-au-Prince are still under great pressure, searching for more facilities to carry out urgent surgery and trying to get in new medical supplies. An estimated 3,000 people have had primary care and around 400 have received surgery in the Haitian capital. The most common serious injuries are open fractures, head injuries as well as infected wounds that need amputation.  At the same time, MSF has been travelling to areas outside of the city and is about to extend the medical care to the people there.

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Patients in dire need of emergency care dying from delays in arrival of medical supplies

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) wards and operating theatres in and around Port-au-Prince are still working through very heavy caseloads and the medical staff there are increasingly concerned about supply problems that are beginning to threaten the welfare of patients. Drugs for surgical care and equipment like dialysis machines are urgently needed but access problems for cargo shipments are causing delays in delivery. Loris De Filippi, the coordinator for MSF's work in Choscal hospital in Cité Soleil says the situation there and at other locations is a problem.

Teams of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) medical staff have been working through the long queues of patients waiting for treatment and surgery, even as Port-au-Prince was shaken again by a very substantial aftershock this morning. In Choscal Hospital, where staff have been working around-the-clock in two operating theatres for days to deal with the seriously injured, the patients were so alarmed by the tremors they once again had to be taken out of the building and put into tents in the grounds outside.