It’s been another hard day. This morning a 13-year-old girl arrived, her whole body torn to pieces by a land mine. Colic and hepatic perforations, laceration of the left axillary artery and an exposed fracture of the thigh-bone. She was in a critical condition – unconscious, with serious hemorrhagic shock and undetectable arterial pressure. We began to stabilize her just enough to quickly get her into the operating room with a femoral arterial pulse. We did everything we possibly could to save her life, but after nearly 3 hours on the operating table, her heart stopped and there was no way to revive her.
Another patient arrived straight after that. A 25-year old man with bullet wounds in his right side and chest. There was just enough time to stabilize him in the First Aid area while cleaning the operating room, before bringing him in for urgent surgery. It was then that we began a battle against a massive hemothorax and a hemoperitoneum. After almost 2 hours of thoracotomy and laparotomy, the surgeon managed to stop the hemorrhaging and maintain a constant blood pressure level. That man has now been moved into intensive care. He’ll have to fight another battle because of serious hepatic lacerations, but we’re optimistic.
— Lorenzo, EMERGENCY Junior Specialist Doctor in Kabul, Afghanistan
To learn more about EMERGENCY’s programs in Afghanistan, register here for a free online conversation about “Health in the Future of Afghanistan” on August 12th. If you would like to help provide free-of-charge medical care to Afghan civilians, please click here to donate now.