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The purpose of this blog is to foster public discussion about injury and violence prevention and response and gain perspectives of those we serve.

Emergency Response to Haiti Earthquake: Save Lives and Minimize Consequences of Injury

Categories: Injury Response

Map of HaitiWitnessing devastation like what we have seen in Haiti since the earthquake on January 12 leaves everyone asking what little bit they can do to help.  What is certain is that a natural disaster of this scale requires a coordinated response across many disciplines and a sustained international effort from public health and relief organizations.  The CDC Injury Center is supporting an agency wide effort to work with partners and immediately address the public health needs of the Haiti earthquake survivors.

Latest reports from the Haitian government estimate the dead and injury toll from the earthquake at 200,000 dead and 250,000 injured.  Given that the general public, deployed providers and others will be delivering care to the majority of injured patients, it is critical that these providers receive “just in time” trauma care guidelines for the types of injuries they will encounter following an earthquake of this magnitude.

The Injury Center is committed to improving injury prevention and response practices and has developed the following resources that are available via the web and mobile telephone to assist in the immediate treatment and medium to long-term recovery efforts in Haiti.  Please share these life saving resources with all those – friends, family members, doctors, nurses, etc. – who are or may be providing assistance to the injured in Haiti, many of whom will not be trained in emergency medical care.

Earthquake Fact Sheets

Wound Care Fact Sheet –

Crush Injuries Fact Sheet –

Mobile Phone Access

Wound care fact sheets in French and Kreyol (Haitian Creole) and crush injuries fact sheets in French and Kreyol are now available on-line. Please post these resources to your websites to extend our reach to those in need.

Richard C. Hunt, MD, FACEP

Richard C. Hunt, MD, FACEP

We believe the above fact sheets will provide valuable information to assist the care providers who receive them.   However, we also recognize that state of the art trauma care and disaster relief rarely go hand in hand.   We therefore support the use of effective and realistic solutions for treating people in disaster situations. A good example of an “effective solution” that will minimize the spread of infection, especially for delayed wound care, is “pressure irrigating” a wound.  By puncturing a small hole in the bottom of an unopened plastic water bottle, the bottle can then be used as a pressure irrigation device in both new and delayed wound care.  Innovative and realistic solutions such as this could potentially save lives and limbs in Haiti.

For more information about injury care following earthquakes, please contact the CDC Information Desk 1-800-CDC-INFO or go to

Richard C. Hunt, MD, FACEP
Division of Injury Response
National Center for Injury Prevention and Control
Centers for Disease Prevention and Control

Public Comments

Comments listed below are posted by individuals not associated with CDC, unless otherwise stated. These comments do not represent the official views of CDC, and CDC does not guarantee that any information posted by individuals on this blog is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. Read more about our comment policy ».

  1. February 10, 2010 at 3:18 pm ET  -   Robert S Castro MD

    due to limited Sterile water available in the field , where wound care is taking place. Dilute the appropriate “bottled water”volume with the appropriate table salt quantity , to the concentration of NSS , to decrease bacterial load in the wounds. puncture the bottle top to be able to squirt water when pressure is needed to rinse wounds out.

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  2. May 1, 2012 at 5:16 am ET  -   Obiekt gastronomiczny

    I just like the valuable information you provide on your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and take a look at once more right here frequently. I am quite sure I’ll be informed many new stuff proper right here! Good luck for the next!

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