The three doctors from the UK [Deborah Harrington, Nick Maynard, and James Smith] said they witnessed “horrific” injuries and challenging conditions inside al-Aqsa hospital.
“We had no running water in theatres, so we had no ability to scrub up and wash,” Mr Maynard said of the surgical unit. “We just had to use alcohol gel before operating.”
“There were no drapes to cover the patients in theatres, so we had to use makeshift gowns to try to keep the patients sterile and clean.
“Instruments were limited, there were very limited sutures for stitching,” he added.
Recalling what the emergency room was like to work in, Dr Harrington said: “There were often no trolleys, so we were managing patients on the floor, which is filthy, which is cold.
“Sometimes oxygen tubing couldn’t even reach those patients. We were putting in chest drains in completely unsanitary conditions, affording patients no dignity.”
She said there was often no morphine or other pain relief.
“I can’t get out of my mind – a child came in alive, literally burnt to the bone, their hands were contracting. Their face was just charcoal, and they were alive and talking. And we had no morphine,” she said.
“I won’t be able to wipe that memory and the smell, being treated on the floor.”
Dr Smith, an emergency doctor, also described how many patients arrived with “horrific, traumatic injuries”, ranging from burns to amputations and serious shrapnel injuries.
“We saw people with traumatic amputations. I saw a child, around one year old, who had had two limbs traumatically amputated, and the other two were severely damaged.” [Continue reading…]