I activated my volunteer RN status for Haiti right after the earthquake. All agencies responded
saying I was registered. April 1, 2010 Project Medishare/U of Miami indicated they had an urgent need.
I got my "shots", packed and flew to Miami 4/2.

Our "Hospital" is the 4 large white tents in the SE corner of the Google shot. It is located within the property of the airport for security reasons (and because it was flat and almost rubble free).
L to R they are: Sleeping tent for up to 140 volunteers, no gender separation; next is adult Med Surg, Pharmacy, Non-sedation wound care, and X-Ray; adjoining is Pedi, ICU, and Surgery; on the R is the supply tent, with unsorted supplies piled to the R of the tent. The Surgery Pedi and ICU area was well air conditioned most of the time, Med Surg part of the time and the sleeping area not much. The Supply tent did not have AC. Neither did the Adult and Pedi ERs to the N of the Surgery tent, or the "logistics" area to the N of the Sleeping tent. The Surgery and Med Surg tents had plywood floors, everthing else, including the ERs were on gravel, grass, dirt. To the SW were the porta-potties, outdoor cold showers, mens urinals, and incoming water. To the S of the tents were generators and AC units.
To quote from the "Volunteer Information Packet" (which they do not send until you have committed and are booked on the charter to PAP and back to Miami ;-)
"The conditions in Port-au-Prince airfield include very hot days with temps in the 90’s but, cooler in the evenings, and very frequent to continuous loud jet and propeller aircraft noise. The air is extremely dusty so expect to be very dusty, sweaty and dirty. Your clothing should be lightweight clothing appropriate for a tropical environment. Scrub tops are usually worn for medical staff. Ideal footwear includes light hiking type boots, military boots or other shoes designed for rough outdoor terrain. The ground our hospital sits on is a mowed field with many rocks, and small stumps. The staff tent sleeps over 140 volunteers and cots are available for your use. Each cot is side by side with another cot and there is no gender separation. We have 4 outdoor showers that are modest and shared by both men and women. We do not always have water available. So expect that you may not have an opportunity to shower for periods of up to 2 days. You can always “shower” with bottle water or use wet wipes. Toilet facilities consist of Porta-potties. We do not have laundry facilities so consider enough clothing to for your length of stay. Some volunteers wash clothes in small buckets. Our food consists of military style Meals Ready to Eat commonly referred to as MRE’s. You are welcome to bring whatever you like but we do not have any refrigeration."

This is clearly a field hospital/MASH set-up!

Do I have everything???
Bye Bye
Off (guess Michal took these
because she wanted a record)
Ready to leave Miami for PAP.
He obviously does not know
what is to come . . .
After a briefing by the Chief
Doc, we located a vacant cot
and dressed for work
bandaid station
Pre-ER "Bandaid Station"
Adult ER
Adult ER, 3 beds, outside tent,
canvas roof & walls, gravel floor
Pedi ER/Holding
Pedi ER and "holding"
Pedi advanced care
Pedi Advanced Care
Yes, that sign says ICU/CCU
Our Lab. Very fast but limited
1/2 of surgery area, 1 other
table on R side. Note gaps
in walls/ceiling
Yes, that surgery table is made
locally. Our sterilizer guy in
the foreground worked very
long hours sterilizing using the
tubs in the background and
Clorox type liquids & water
Dressing change
One of my 1st jobs was pedi
dressing changes under sedation.
Done in the surgery area
Supply dump
Supplies needing sorting
and to be moved inside
Good, & needed, supply of
crutches and walkers.
Child walker
Child walker modified by
supply people to add seat
Med Surg
60-75 bed Med Surg, usually
4 RNs, including working Charge
(We only had 1 die in Med Surg
while I was there)
Neil & Claudio
Neil & Claudio, MD in Med Surg.
Haitian nursing student in front
Homemade breathing exersizer
This nice man and his family were
great to work with. Here a
daughter helps him with a
breathing exercise tool.
. . . .'nuf said
One of 2 15" AC inlets into the
Med Surg tent. A clever Haitian has
found a place to cool a drink
The copter noise added a MASH
quality; L is entrance to sleeping(?)
Isolation & Jet
The jet noise was great too.
At right is our TB isolation tent.
New arrival delivered previous
afternoon. RN Sue helped deliver.
Spraying for bugs
Bug control was sprayed 2 or
3 times a day
Pharmacy. To right is "lead wall"
to protect us from X-Ray
Charts were all kept on patients
cot. Each patient allowed 1 sheet.

Haitian nursing student, RN
"Kat", happy patient and me
Door openers
Like any hospital, we had
automatic door openers!
Really - that was their job

L to R: silver "potable" water tank,
mens urinal, 4 bay unisex shower
- cold only, port-a-potties. The white
tank in the forground did NOT
warm or clean water. It
was apparantly to hold up rocks.
Mens Urinal
Urinal detail
Shower detail - 30 seconds
of water per shower.
Following are shots from
around Port-au-Prince. Thanks to
Rob Scheifer for some of these.
Main Cathedral
Main cathedral
Living on the street with tarp
and shower curtain walls
Another church
Pancake collapse was the most
common, sometimes with tilting
Most of these were 1-2 stories
higher before the quake
Mulit-floor collapse
Tent city
One of many tent cities
I was lucky to work in most
nursing areas of the hospital
and get some interesting photos
but if you are a bit squimish
you may want to stop here!
As you medical types look at
these, remember this is a "field
hospital", and conditions are not
quite what we think as standard
Child with walker
One of our small BTK
amputees trying out her new
walker with the customized seat
I was even a pharmacy tech
for a few hours - scary!
Foot amputation
Starting a foot amputation
(note the T shirt observer)
Foot amputation
About to take off. Note angle cut
of skin and muscle so that can
be used to flap over bone stump -
bone will be cut at the top
Foot gone
Foot gone - ready to flap
and sew the stump cover
Plastic surgeon - escharotomy
on ~ 2-3y/o burn victim
Back surgery
Back surgery. Note locally
made step stool
caught eating
Oops! Caught eating some
left-over patient rice while
"hiding" in pharmacy
Digital disimpaction
Besides amputees, we had
a large number of paralyzed
patients. Sometimes that meant a
need for digital disimpaction
Frequently a preacher would
come in to encourage the patients
The End
The last full day was a tad
busy. I went from having 20 patients, to
being the only RN and 49 patients, to
charge nurse with a new crew to
orient, to a resourse for the new crew, to
"not here" - a welcome change in title
after 9 busy days.
I would do it again!