Makeshift Medicine amid Haiti "War Zone"

The largest public hospital in Port-au-Prince has been severely damaged. What used to be the front yard is now a make-shift morgue. The old court yard at General Hospital is now the trauma unit.

We stopped counting patients at 300 -- more than 300 stories of pain and suffering and one trauma doctor, reports CBS News correspondent Byron Pitts.

"How are you supposed to take care of people by yourself?" Pitts asked Dr. Tyrone Gill.

"Well that's what I am trying to do right now," Dr. Gill said. "I'm here, there, everywhere."

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Dr. Gill is from Jamaica. He flew in late Tuesday.

Gill, who has been a doctor for seven years, says the situation in Haiti doesn't compare to anything he's seen before.

"This is like a war zone," he said.

With no sleep and few supplies, Dr. Gill has been forced to make difficult choices.

Sometimes, by the time victims arrive, he has to amputate because of gangrene.

"Access is very difficult," he said. "To get here is a big problem."

Slowly , trained medical personnel from around the globe are trickling in to the contry and doing what they can.

A Boston-based charity set up a triage center a couple hours outside Port-au-Prince. Those who can make it here can get bandages, x-rays and pain medication.

The U.S. government sent 300 medical personnel to Haiti today and has placed 12,000 more on alert for possible deployment.

Doctors without Borders has 800 personnel on the ground, and is trying to get 80 more into the country.

Many Haitians are trying to make it to their own border. Their neighbors in the Dominican Republic have offered free medical assistance.

And for those who can't make it to medical help, all they can do is sit and wait and hope.

Port-au-Prince has long been a series of shanty towns. Today with too few hospitals and too many roads impossible to pass, many of the sick, the injured and the hungry are virtually trapped in neighborhoods. But they don't complain. They improvise.

At Union Baptist Church, a local healer tried to mend a broken arm with ointment. The sick and the injured sing.

"God will help us," the old hymn goes. Many here believe that's the only help they've gotten so far.

Doctors without Borders is expected to have an inflatable hospital in Haiti within 24 hours.
  • Byron Pitts

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