Update: Columbia medical team helps Haitians

Courtesy of

UPDATE Thursday 10:00 p.m.:

Columbia paramedic Rick Baker consistently updates his Facebook page to give the conditions in a Haitian hospital where he is serving with nine other medical crew from mid-Missouri.

Thursday, his post describes how crowded the hospital is and how his team is in need of batteries.

"Patients start their story with 'a wall fell on me'", said Baker on Facebook. He says after dark the work is, "Done with a headlamp, no lights...Get it done and blind each other as we turn to speak!"

He says medical personnel also have a great need for medications like Lovenox or Heparin. Baker says the crowded Hospital Sacre Coeur in Northern Haiti is separating patients by their injuries.

"Our pt. count is so high that we are beginning to populate rooms with specific injuries (i.e) all pelvic fxs, post-surg. long bone fxs, med/surg., male/female/peds all seperate, our adult and peds teams c...and go all day without seeing each other in the same area. Add in displaced family and we are full!"

One of those displaced family members is an 11-year-old boy who traveled to the hospital with his injured mother, The boy drew a picture for Baker of a rescue helicopter addng the words, 'I love you."

Original story:

Nine medical professionals from Columbia are part of a 12 member team serving earthquake victims at a hospital in Northern Haiti.

As part of the medical mission of the CRUDEM Foundation based in St. Louis they are staffing the Hospital Sacre Coeur in Milot, Haiti.

The team arrived Monday. University Hospital flight paramedic Rick Baker has been writing about his experiences on Facebook. He gave us permission to share what he is seeing there.

He describes the scene as the worst of conditions. "Our nurse to patient ratio is 92:1 in the E.R., post-op, holding, pre-op combined hospital area I am in."

He says there's no notice before trucks or helicopters with patients arrive. Wednesday there was a new challenge when 40 children found a medical waste pile and started looting. Medical personnel had to check each child for needle sticks. Infections can turn deadly, he says sepsis is a killer there. Baker says for those who do survive, post op patients sleep on straw mats on the floor.

"Despite the 18 hour days, and HUGE patient loads, we are bonding with these people," says Baker.

To learn more about the team and their mission follow the links below.