Haiti Docs Scramble to Save Lives

It was all hands on deck at Port-au-Prince's airport Friday night when a team of 11 doctors and nurses from Florida landed.

A very makeshift clinic overseen by doctors from the University of Miami Medical Center is overrun with patients, reports CBS News Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton.

One doctor called it civil war medicine. A folding banquet table in the open air has to suffice as a surgical suite. Even simple procedures carry risk for the volunteer physicians. Hepatitis, HIV and Tuberculosis are very common in Haiti.

Complete Coverage: Devastation in Haiti

At 3 a.m. Saturday, a small miracle came into the clinic, courtesy of the south Florida search and rescue teams. A 15-year-old girl known only as "Lovely" was trapped under a collapsed school with a dead body on top of her and her arm pinned by concrete. Dr. Mark Grossman, an emergency medical technician physician, had but one choice.

"I had to amputate her arm," Grossman told Ashton.

"What did you have with you?" Ashton asked.

"First I tried a scalpel to cut through the skin, but it was the way she was positioned -- couldn't cut through it all the way then a manual bone saw which didn't work and then had to use a electric saw like we use to get people out of cars," Grossman said.

But it worked. Ashton helped resuscitate Lovely and monitored her vital signs as surgeons tied off the major blood vessels in her arm.

Lovely is doing very well and is expected to survive.




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