Without electricity, British-Palestinian surgeon warns hospital will turn into “a mass grave”
A British-Palestinian surgeon who traveled to Gaza to help in hospitals has warned that without electricity, the hospital he is in “will just be a mass grave.”
Dr. Ghassan Abu-Sittah said that without electricity “there’s nothing to do for these wounded” who are at Al-Shifa Hospital where he is working.
“The system is disintegrating and without a ceasefire and a humanitarian corridor — not token 14, 15, 20 trucks for two and a quarter million people, but a real humanitarian corridor that allows the evacuation of these wounded and allows humanitarian aid to come in and medical teams to come in — without that, there’s going to be an even larger catastrophe that the one that already exists here,” Abu-Sittah told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday.
Abu-Sittah said the hospital has run out of burns dressings, with more than 100 patients in the hospital with burns covering more than 40% of their bodies.
There are more than 150 patients on ventilators with critical injuries in the hospital, he said, adding that they had also run out of “external fixators — the pins and rods that are required for orthopedic surgery.”
Abu-Sittah told CNN that a number of wounded and inpatients from the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital have been brought to Al-Shifa Hospital.
He said electricity is starting to cut out and there is not sufficient water pressure to run the sterilization machine that’s needed for surgical instruments.
The surgeon described treating a 16-year-old boy who “had burns to his face, his arms and his legs.” He said the boy told him how “he had dinner with his parents and his dad, who was sitting next to him, was killed and his mom suffocated in the fire that led to the burns that he had.”
“We have now a term in Shifa hospital called ‘wounded child with no surviving family’ to designate over 50 kids who have been pulled out of the rubble on their own and have sustained injuries and are being treated in the hospital,” Abu-Sittah said.
“For a system that had a total bed capacity of 2,500 beds before the war started, we are just waiting for the electricity to run out, the fuel, and then that will be the death… of the health system,” he added.