Amputation in emergency situations: indications, techniques and Médecins Sans Frontières France's experience in Haiti


PURPOSE: The decision to amputate is always difficult but becomes even harder in emergency situations, which usually present extra complicating factors. MSF EXPERIENCE: These include human factors (related to both the surgeon and the patient); poor or nonexistent medical facilities, especially in war conditions or resource-poor countries; and cultural and religious considerations. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has developed a quick medical and logistical response that relies on surgical protocols adapted to emergency situations, together with complete "kits" of medical equipment, supplies and inflatable facilities. CONCLUSION: Our response to Haiti's 2010 earthquake relied on these tools but also highlighted the need to develop more detailed protocols that will help our teams on the ground

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    This paper was published in MSF Field Research.

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