ICRC Kenya: Surgeons dissect lessons from post-election violence

Kenya: Surgeons dissect lessons from post-election violence

Following Kenya’s December 2007 general elections, hospital staff had to face a massive, and unexpected, influx of victims of violence. Now, during a series of ICRC-organized workshops geared at peace-time emergencies, they are discussing the lessons learned. The ICRC’s Iolanda Jaquemet reports.

“Even if the patient has his bowels hanging out, it does not necessarily mean this is the most urgent case on hand, as long as he is in stable condition.” The 20 members of the audience listened attentively to Dr Mauro Dalla Torre, the ICRC surgeon, as he illustrated the principles of triage.

Later, they looked with calm, clinical interest at a picture showing a little boy with horrendous leg wounds, used by Dr Dalla Torre to illustrate “the high energy transfer” caused by a bullet.

The participants’ poise was not surprising: they were surgeons, nurses and clinical officers from five hospitals in Nyanza province, Western Kenya. During two days in April, they swapped experiences at an ICRC-organized workshop on “emergency preparedness and treatment of wounds due to violence”. Continue reading