Insufficient Care for Quake Victims

Richardson Lagredelle, 28 year old victim of Haiti earthquake was rushed to the United Nations Hospital with severe injuries to his leg. The earthquake demolished Port-Au-Princes major hospitals and the UN set up tents for make-shift hospitals. The UN hospital was lacking in basic equipment and supplies.

Lagredelle’s leg needed to be amputated and the surgery could not take place until the doctors could rehydrate him. Without monitoring equipment the only course of action available to the doctors was to administer an intravenous drip. Doctors and his mother continuously sat with him in an attempt to keep him awake. Lagredelle became delirious after his intravenous drip stopped working. At this point, their only alternative was to give him 12 liters of water and wait. As they waited they hoped he would urinate so that they could look for blood that would indicate if internal bleeding was present.

Dr. Roberto Feliz, an anesthesiologist that had flown in to help treat survivors said, “He’s dying right now in front of our eyes. He’s a young, strong guy. In any normal hospital he’d survive.”

As Lagredelle gasped for air, he managed to beg for water. “Give! Give!” was his last words. Within a few hours, Lagredelle died. Dr. Feliz marked his arm with an “X” and said “It’s over.”

(Photo by unknown photographer)

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