The devastation in Haiti following the earthquake caused many of us in healthcare to come to a standstill. I am heartsick watching the suffering that the people of Haiti have had to endure. To know that those who had survived the initial insult have had their suffering compounded by the lack of basic medical resources drove me to action. As a critical care nurse, my first response was to want to join the heroic teams deploying to Haiti and providing desperately needed care. As a mother of four beautiful daughters ranging 9 months to 13 years that is not an option for me now. Instead, I looked to my employer, Vidacare Corporation, manufacturer of the EZ IO intraosseous infusion system, for support. I realized that I am in a unique position to provide at least one desperately needed resource-vascular access.
Vascular access is required to manage basics such as pain, hydration and anesthesia for surgery. With an intraosseous infusion, in less than a minute nurses and doctors can obtain access and begin to infuse lifesaving fluids, medications, and transfusions. It can be used in all settings, from patients trapped in buildings, to field clinics, surgical stations, and hydration clinics for those going into acute renal failure from hypovolemia. Vidacare responded with hundreds of needles and drivers to provide these critical resources to nurses and physicians in Haiti. Watching the media reports, I knew that logistics were going to be a major challenge. Partners in Health has been supporting the medical needs of the people of Haiti for more 25 years, so we chose them to partner with them. This partnership led us to the health care providers at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, which has sent three teams to Haiti. This week, I received an e-mail at 3 AM from a neprhologist at the hydration clinic in Hinche. Its simple message, “Thank you,” was enough to bring tears of joy to this one nurse who desired to help. It is nice to know how connected we all really are.
Michelle Fox, RN, BSN, is Director of Professional Affiliations at Vidacare, Shavano Park, TX.
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