To Haiti on a medical mission

Dr. Eduardo P. Dolhun

Neighborhood physician Dr. Eduardo P. Dolhun is with a team of doctors in Haiti treating earthquake victims. Here is a portion of his first dispatch from the front:

“Within a matter of minutes we were presented with a wide assortment of severe illnesses, all of them traumatic and now nearly six days old.

“The first patient was a 78-year-old woman who had gotten her hand crushed by a fallen concrete slab in her kitchen. She was preparing dinner for her children and grandchildren. She was calm and patient, as we slowly removed the gauze that had not been changed for five days. The dried blood and puss had fused the dressing in a patchy assortment of wet and dry areas, with bubbles percolating up from the wet areas, indicating anaerobic bacterial (bacteria that cause gangrene) infection. One is able to diagnose this type of infection with the nose: It has a distinctive and unforgettable odor.

“As we methodically unwrapped and gently cut away the bandage, we had time to get to know her and also to prepare her for the probability that she would likely lose the entire hand, adding to the loss of her five fingers.”

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