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Haitians Continue To Pour Into Hospitals After Earthquake


It's been one week since a powerful earthquake struck Haiti. More than 2,000 people have died. Over 12,000 have suffered injuries. The quake has had its strongest impact on the port city of Les Cayes in southwestern Haiti.

Dr. Titus Antoine runs the emergency room at the Immaculee Conception Hospital in Les Cayes. Doctor, thank you very much for being with us.

TITUS ANTOINE: All right. No problem. It's a pleasure.

SIMON: What does it look like at your hospital now?

ANTOINE: We still have people coming. Then we thought that the thing was - will be slow. But we still have people coming because, you know, after the earthquake, there are road - there was blocks. Right now - all the roads are open now, so that every people came in the hospital. So we have a lot of people still coming.

SIMON: Do you have enough medicine? Do you have enough bandages? What do you need?

ANTOINE: Well, we need beds for people because there's a lot of people on the floor. We need a lot of bed. Well, actually, right now, a lot of people are inside. We used to put them outside. But we need to have a tent, something that cover so that the sun can't burn them. You understand?

SIMON: Oh, my. Yeah. And what kind of injuries are you seeing?

ANTOINE: Well, we have a lot of fracture - open and closed fracture - humerus, radius. We have a lot of trauma, like bad trauma that has a Glasgow of 3. And we have people that already have a disease before, and they have a fracture. So we have to control even the disease that they have before, like diabetes, high blood pressure. So we control on both of them.

SIMON: Dr. Antoine, what kind of hours are your staff working?

ANTOINE: Well, to tell you the truth. I have to stay 24 to 24. Because I'm the chief of the emergency room, I have to always be there to check. Maybe I can go to eat, like, two minutes and go back because I control everything. You know, I have a staff with me. They need to take a rest.

And other - take the other people that can help. If we have food, go take food for them and all that. But I have to always stay at the hospital to control. You understand?

SIMON: Yeah. Dr. Antoine, I wonder - I mean, after you've helped a patient, a lot of them may not have homes to go back to.

ANTOINE: Well, yeah. There's people that we already done with them, so they need to go to their house. And they stay at the hospital. That's really a bad situation for us because the person doesn't need to stay at the hospital. But the person stay. Well, that's really a bad situation for us.

They told you that they don't have food. They don't have clothes. They don't have nothing. They lost their family and all that. So they stay at the hospital. That is not good for us. We need space to work better.

SIMON: Dr. Titus Antoine at the Immaculee Conception Hospital in Les Cayes, Haiti. Thanks so much for being with us.

ANTOINE: All right. No problem. It was a pleasure for me to talk with you guys.

(SOUNDBITE OF ANA ROXANNE'S "---") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.