On January 12, 2010, a massive earthquake took the lives of over 250,000 Haitians and injured hundreds of thousands. The earthquake caused over a million people to become homeless and devastated an already economically troubled country. The Haitian government was unable to manage the disaster and countries from all over the world stepped in to assist.
Dr Polecritti and three of his colleagues joined about a hundred other American doctors, nurses, fireman and other emergency personnel on a medical mission to the epicenter of the earthquakes destruction zone. Dr Polecritti and the other Americans were housed on the grounds of a recently abandoned Haitian elementary school. The American medical team slept in tents or on cots and were sent each day to different make shift hospitals, and medical tents around the city of Port Au Prince. At 8:00am each morning the Haitian’s lined up in lines that went hundreds of feet down the road in order to be evaluated and treated. Countries from all over the world sent medical supplies and medication for use in these medical tents. Dr. Polecritti and his three colleagues; Dr. Foglietti (Plastic Surgeon), Dr. Hunter (Anesthesia) and Dr. Rodgers (anesthesia) set up at one of the few remaining hospitals which had a functional operating room. Dr Polecritti provided a multitude of plastic surgical and general surgical procedures for the Haitian patients including: wound care and debridement, burn scar revision, skin grafts, amputations, wrist fracture repair, abdominal trauma and head & neck tumors.
The Haitian’s were extremely appreciative of the care they received making the experience truly rewarding. Providing surgical care to people in need is something Dr. Polecritti takes very seriously.
Please stay tuned for future missions and community programs the Julian Institute of Plastic Surgery participates in.