DWB (Doctors Without Borders) has been operating a trauma centre in St. Joseph’s Hospital, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, since December 2004. A third of its patients are treated for gunshot wounds. Knife wounds are the second most common category.
A Haitian physician working for DWB says, “We have a lot of injuries caused by fragmentation bullets. Usually there is a small entry wound and a small exit wound. These bullets explode inside the abdomen of the patient and cause a lot of internal injuries. Fragmentary bullets are used by everyone.”
By the end of March 2005, St. Joseph’s doctors had treated more than 1,000 patients for bullet wounds. The numbers are continuing to rise.