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Fighting in Eastern Chad: MSF Treats 140 Wounded
February 2, 2007
On Thursday at 8:30 am, a rebel group attacked the city of Adré. Fighting between the rebels and government forces occurred in the city, including around the hospital. A piece of shrapnel even passed through one of the hospital gates. Heavy weapons were used during fighting in the center of the city, which lasted for nearly three hours. The rebels then moved out of Adré and fighting continued outside the city.
Our team, including a surgeon, anesthetist, doctor and two nurses, was in the hospital during the attack. The wounded began arriving quickly, at around 9:30 am, and we were thus able to treat them right away. Our team continued to receive, treat, and operate on wounded people throughout the day, until 11 pm.
This high influx of patients, many of whom were seriously wounded, required a major triage and organizational effort, beginning with the most serious cases that required immediate surgery. We received assistance from the Chadian Red Cross, which mobilized some 15 first-aid workers to help our team triage the patients and dress their injuries.
In total, 140 wounded people were treated throughout the day. Nearly 30% were civilians. Approximately 30 people were seriously wounded, requiring thoracic, abdominal and orthopedic surgery (including two amputations). Six patients died at the hospital. Our team also treated three prisoners of war. Twenty wounded persons were transferred to Abeche after being stabilized.
The team took turns throughout the night in the hospital so that they could continue to provide care. On Friday, calm returned to the city. Part of the team that MSF evacuated on Thursdayprimarily Chad paramedicals working with MSF will now be able to return to Adré because MSF needs additional help to handle post-operative care. Follow-up care will be a major task, after the surgeries, which were performed immediately. A plane from N'Djamena is also expected to deliver additional medical supplies.