January 25th Haiti: Teamwork Saving Lives


We are still seeing a lot of wounded people that have not yet been evaluated by anyone. Unbelievable! Today was an interesting one. Once again, for me it was a day of networking and coordination. We received word today that the anesthesia machine that we had been anxiously waiting for was finally in Haiti. Now, the challenge was going to be getting it from the airport to the hospital. The roads are dirt moguls and potholes. They could easily destroy sensitive medical equipment. It turns out that the machine was delivered to Haiti by the US Air Force. The folks at Hope Force worked it out. After even more behind the scenes work by them, they were able to arrange to have it delivered to the hospital by helicopter! The Canadian Air Force agreed to deliver it by sling.

It was awesome to see it come in and I couldn't resist being up on the roof to get some great pictures. Well, that was a big mistake. The roof used to be covered with concrete dust and gravel. Now, all of that is under my eyelids, in my ears and down my pants. But, we have our anesthesia machine! Nice! The US Army 82nd Airborne were with us and they coordinated with the helicopter to land in a nearby field while they provided security. That way the Canadians were able to retrieve their harness and hook and drop off two of the guys from Hope Force to help uncrate the machine and transport it down stairs to the OR. Great teamwork!

Today I started to work on a collaborative website for the NGOs from the Health Cluster at the UN. I can't believe that no one has set this up yet. Following Katrina we had a system where hospitals could log on and update bed counts and capabilities so we could coordinate care. We really need a system like that in Haiti. Like I've said before, the more we collaborate, the quicker we can bring relief to those that are suffering. The anesthesia machine is a great example of this. It was donated by someone to Hope Force, transported to Haiti by the US Air Force and delivered to the hospital by the Canadian Air Force. I'm building it in Google so all of the teams will have access and we can network. Fabulous teamwork!

At the Health Cluster at the UN today I found out that another NGO has developed the type of collaboration site that I was working on. Therefore, I'm pulling the plug on what I was working on and deferring to them. The site is OneResponse. Thank you, thank you to the team that put it together. Right on!