Team of doctors return from Haiti - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Team of doctors return from Haiti

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IOWA CITY (KWWL)--Dr. Chris Buresh was worried he and his team of doctors would be in over their heads when they first arrived in hard hit Leogane, just outside of Port-au-Prince.

"When you're in Haiti you have to sort of get out of your comfort zone a little bit and do things that you're not accustomed to doing," said Buresh who works with the University of Iowa's Hospitals and Clinics in emergency medicine.

Within hours of their arrival, the team had a line of patients.

"There was a lot more damage than I expected. When we saw the first patient, it was a bad injury and it was time to get to work," said Dr. Dan Wing, a member of the team in Haiti.

The pictures the team brought home just begin to show the devastation.

Hundreds of thousands of people in need of basic medical care and continued follow up; the team of doctors had to provide care with minimal resources.

"All the infections, all the wounds were severe, limited antibiotics to work with, limited pain medicine, you had to become a true clinician as there was limited x-ray, limited ultrasound, no ct scanners or anything we rely on in western medicine," said Wing. 

Other medics and physicians teamed up with Buresh's team.

Within three days, their makeshift outdoor clinic had a staff of close to 50, and the clinic was seeing more than 300 patients each day.

"Most people would work from 7 or 8 in the morning until it got dark at 5:30 without taking a break for lunch," said Buresh.

Buresh's clinic essentially has become the referral clinic for the Leogane area.

As they continue to address the short term needs, they're working to help establish stability.

"In the long term I'm hoping we can get all these NGO's together to rebuild the health system in Leogane," said Buresh.

Buresh hopes to return to Haiti early next week.  He says he will help run a temporary field hospital that is being built over the weekend.

Online Reporter:  Jason Epner

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