Wednesday, 19 August 2015

From a doctor in Douma

 "When I arrived at the Intensive Care Unit, minutes after the air raid, a man stopped me and said “don’t go in there because there’s no space left in the ICU except for the wounded” then another man interrupted him “let him in, he’s a doctor.”
 I wish I had not been in that hospital yesterday and that I did not see what I saw -- a sea of blood and the wounded, doctors and medics were swimming in it.
 As I come to the realization that we have all reached breaking point in that wretched hospital room, a voice came down to us as if from above. We all listen attentively to this voice hoping it will say something to calm us down, the voice starts... “Guys, empty the Intensive Care Unit.. the warplane has launched a second strike, and a third, and... and a tenth.”
 And I begin to see the injuries multiplying, the number of deaths multiplying. And I realize there is no more blood for transfusions, no more sanitized medical equipment and no more serum bags but we continue working as if it’s the end of the world.
 A few hours have elapsed since the air raid and I now look across the Intensive Care Unit. At least the ground has been emptied of its injured although the beds are still all occupied. I begin to feel that the situation is a bit more manageable now. This is when the rescue operations end and the real catastrophe begins. The Syria Civil Defense teams have documented more than 100 deaths.
 I move through the operation rooms and see exhausted doctors who have performed more than 70 surgeries during the past few hours. They have seen guts spilled out, amputated legs, dislodged eyes, slashed necks --- their green scrubs are dark from the blood.
 As for those who have made it through the chaotic ICU and surgery, they are looking at days or weeks at the hospital while they recover.
 For me I want the world to act to stop the killing. I don’t know how else to say it."

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