Quake Creates Generation of Amputees

Many lose limbs because doctors can't treat injuries fast enough
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2010 8:53 PM CST
A Haitian amputee.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Among the most devastating long-term consequences of the Haiti earthquake will be the thousands of victims who’ve had to have limbs amputated—and while some saw limbs severed almost immediately, many cases result from the inability of medical personnel to keep up with the volume of injuries. “This is like jungle medicine here,” one nurse tells the Guardian. “We try to do the best for the patients but sometimes we don’t have the material we need.”

“Every day they are coming in, more and more,” one doctor says of a nation where many rely on manual labor for income. “We have some of the best surgeons in the world here but we haven’t got the number of nurses we need.” Adds a mother of three who lost a leg: “I don’t know what to do. Thank God it was me and not my children but how will I get food for them?”

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