Trauma capacity in the central plateau department of Haiti

Lindel Dewberry*, Chelsea McCullough, Jonathan Goss, Lee A. Hugar, Christopher J. Dente, Jyotirmay Sharma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Surgical burden is a large and neglected global health problem in low- and middle-income countries. With the increasing trauma burden, the goal of this study was to evaluate the trauma capacity of hospitals in the central plateau of Haiti. Materials and methods: The World Health Organization Emergency and Essential Surgical Care survey was adapted with a focus on trauma capacity. Interviewers along with translators administered the survey to key hospital staff. Results: Seven hospitals in the region were surveyed. Of the hospitals surveyed, 3/7 had functioning surgical facilities. None of the hospitals had trauma registries. 71% of the hospitals had no formal trauma guidelines. 2/7 hospitals had a general surgeon available 100% of the time. All surgical facilities had oxygen cylinders available 100% of the time, but three of the primary level hospitals only had it available 51%-90% of the time. Intubation equipment was available at 57% of the facilities. Ventilators were only available in the operating room. Only the largest hospital had a computed tomography scanner. Other hospitals (66%) had a functioning x-ray machine 76%-90% of the time. Hospitals (57%) had an ultrasound machine. The most common reasons for referral were lack of appropriate facilities and supplies at the primary level care centers or lack of trained personnel at higher-level facilities. Conclusions: Trauma capacity in the central plateau of Haiti is limited. There is a great need for more personnel, trauma training at all staff levels, emergency care guidelines, trauma registries, and imaging equipment and training, specifically in ultrasonography. To accomplish this, coordination is needed between the Haitian government and local and international nongovernmental organizations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-40
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Global health
  • Haiti
  • Low- to middle-income countries
  • Trauma capacity


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