AAP members involved in relief efforts in Haiti after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck eight months ago learned many valuable lessons that can help in future disaster situations.

Current estimates are that 220,000 Haitians were killed, more than 300,000 injured and 1 million were left homeless after the earthquake rocked the poorest country in the Western hemisphere on Jan. 12. Despite the loss of vital infrastructure, response from the Academy and international medical community was rapid and generous.

The numerous problems encountered during the acute stage of disaster relief could occur after any unexpected disaster. These included lack of anesthesia, basic operating room equipment, electricity and supplies. Radiography was not available. Sterility in the makeshift operating rooms was impossible to achieve. Often, there was no clean running water, and flies were in the operating room. Medical records were non-existent. Because of the austere early conditions, complex surgical procedures were not...

You do not currently have access to this content.