It was about 7 p.m. when the ground began to shake — again.
Family physician Douglas McKeag, MD, saw panicked patients hobble on fresh casts and fractured bones, some dragging IV poles, as they rushed to flee the converted schoolhouse where he was working in a Dominican Republic city near the Haitian border.
Some patients on the second floor jumped from a balcony; one patient broke his back doing so. The building was still standing when the aftershock ended, but no one wanted to go back inside.
“We were out in the field taking care of patients, trying to restore order all night long by flashlight,” Dr. McKeag said. “We continued to get aftershocks or other quakes, ones that were even longer than that first one. We were delivering care between earthquakes, outside in the middle of nowhere. It was surreal.”
Dr. McKeag, from Indiana, was among scores of U.S. physicians who took leave from their everyday duties to respond to the aftermath of the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti Jan. 12, killing an estimated 230,000 people and injuring another 300,000.
The whole shebang.