The Haiti relief mission was Operation International's first disaster relief mission, and it was conducted in the Haitian Community Hospital in Port au Prince. A 17 man team, including an orthopedic surgeon, a plastic surgeon, three trauma/general surgeons, internist, intensive care specialist, anesthesia and nursing staff was recruited and all supplies and equipment were assembled in 4 days.
A charted plane was secured for the team’s transportation thanks to the generosity of Mr. Earl Mac. The team arrived in Port au Prince in the early hours of Sunday January 24th. By 11am, they secured the hospital’s storage facility with its adjacent decayed operating room from the hospital administration to be used as their base. By 3pm, the team finished cleaning that section of the hospital and refurbished it to become their 3-4 bed operating suite and central supply area.
By the end of Sunday, the team had already performed 8 major surgeries. Unfortunately the recovery room could only accommodate 2 beds, so most of the patients were forced to recover in the open courtyard. By Thursday night, the team had performed close to 100 major operations. To increase the operating capacity of the hospital, the team left behind all of their supplies and most of the equipment for arriving teams to use.