Help a Beirut Hospital recover from the Explosion

On August 4 at 6:07 PM in less than a minute a massive explosion took place in Beirut’s main port. With a 30 km radius from the epicenter, the shock wave leveled buildings and shattered windows for miles. The disaster caused at least 157 deaths (and still counting as countless are still missing), severely wounded 5,000, and caused unspeakable grief in a country that was already suffering from an unprecedented economic crisis.

The port was completely destroyed and Ashrafieh, a neighborhood facing the port where the Hospital is situated was among those worst hit by the blast. The Lebanese Hospital Geitaoui-University Medical Center (founded in 1927), a non-profit hospital and one of the 5 largest hospitals in Beirut (250 beds, 720 health care workers, 89 residents, 140 medical doctors) serving almost 20% of the city's population (working and an impoverished middle class) was severely damaged.

In the minutes after the blast, the medical team quickly secured the Hospital patients and staff, many of whom were hurt by the blast. The medical and technical personnel was mobilized all night long in treating the hundreds of severely injured people in the ER parking lot, in scenes that were incredibly moving and will be forever remembered. Unfortunately, despite these heroic efforts, 12 patients died.

The Hospital has lost all its operational capacity in the blast. More specifically, the imaging and radiology departments were completely destroyed. The recently opened COVID-19 unit was completely obliterated, including negative pressure room equipment and air handling units, thus diminishing the already limited number of nationally available COVID-equipped wards and ICU rooms as Lebanon enters a surge of new infections. The operating rooms were also affected as well as the newly opened cardiac catheterization suite, with essential medical equipment (patient beds, monitors, defibrillators, blood pressure machines) severely damaged when they were blown by the blast. All patient rooms were devastated, the 20 elevators of the Hospital are not functional, and the Hospital’s entrance hall, cafeteria, and kitchen are in ruin.

50236460_159675099722518_r.jpeg(you can see the port from the obliterated window)

The reconstruction effort to rehabilitate this essential hospital to its previous role will optimistically take a year.

The  Geitaoui-UMC Hospital’s medical director, Dr. Nagi Abi-Rached, an interventional cardiologist, has estimated that an initial fund of 400,000 euros (~$500K) would make it minimally operational within a few short weeks to serve its patient population's most urgent needs.

More specifically, the fund will help the Hospital rehabilitate and equip 1 to 2 clinical wards with 32 patient beds per floor (out of normally 8 floors) and 1 to 2 operating rooms (out of 9). In addition, it will be possible to rehabilitate and equip the Emergency Department, and resume clinical teaching (the hospital is affiliated with the Lebanese University). These services will contribute to filling up the most urgent medical needs that a devastated sector cannot provide at this time - the 4 other main hospitals having also been badly damaged (with 1 which has stopped all operations).

All funds raised will go the Geitaoui-UMC Hospital urgent first phase rehabilitation. The aim is to raise as much money as we can to meet the 400,000 urgently needed fund. The amount that would have been raised will be disbursed directly to their emergency relief fund via wire transfer (http://www.hopital-libanais.com/otherdefinitions/donate ).

The managerial team of Geitaoui-UMC, in specific Nagi Abi Rached , MD, Medical Manager and Antoine Saab , Quality & Safety Manager, are in constant communication with this GoFundMe campaign and the Hospital has officially endorsed it:  http://www.hopital-libanais.com/otherdefinitions/donate

A plaque at the entrance of the hospital will commemorate the “global support” that the international community would have brought to the Hospital and to the people of Beirut and Lebanon in their moment of greatest misery and dispossession.

Please donate, we need all help!

Joelle Abi-Rached, MD PhD


Organizer
Joelle Abi-Rached was trained first as a medical doctor at the American University of Beirut (class of 2006). She holds an MSc in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics (class of 2007) and a PhD in History of Science from Harvard University (class of 2017). She was a fellow at Columbia University’s Society of Fellows until recently and is currently a researcher at the Ecole normale supérieure in Paris. She comes from a family of medical doctors and Dr. Nagi Abi-Rached is her cousin. Knowing the vital role that such a Hospital plays in Beirut, shocked like many by the apocalyptic scenes, and having gone herself through war-related traumatic events, Joelle felt it is her duty and our duty as a global community to step in to help in the rescue and rehabilitation efforts of this afflicted nation.

For more about Joelle, please see: https://joelleabirached.com/

Team member
Lola Sounigo earned a BA in Anthropology (with Honors) from Wesleyan University (class of 2019). Lola is of Lebanese origins and currently lives and work in New York City.


En Français (détails de l'hôpital)

L’hôpital libanais Geitaoui-Centre Hospitalier Universitaire est un hôpital francophone à but non lucratif. L’hôpital a été fondé en 1927 par un prêtre maronite et son administration a été confiée par le fondateur à la Congrégation des Sœurs Maronites de la Sainte Famille créée par le patriarche Elias El Hoyek en 1895. Depuis 2010, le conseil d'administration est dirigé par Mère Marie Antoinette Saadeh, supérieure générale des Sœurs maronites, Sœur Hadia Abi Chebli et le doyen de la Faculté des sciences médicales de l'Université libanaise, le Pr. Pierre Yared. Le directeur médical est le Dr. Nagi Abi-Rached (cardiologue, ancien interne des hôpitaux de Paris, et coordinateur de l’accréditation des hôpitaux au Liban avec le projet de la Haute Autorité de Santé Française).
 
L’hôpital libanais Geitaoui-CHU a un partenariat de coordination et d’échanges scientifiques et d’étudiants avec les Hôpitaux Universitaires Henri Mondor Ap-Hp à Créteil.
 
C’est l'un des 5 plus grands hôpitaux de Beyrouth (260 lits, 720 professionnels de santé, 89 internes et résidents affiliés avec l'Université libanaise, 140 médecins) desservant près de 20% de la population.
 
L'hôpital a perdu l'essentiel de sa capacité opérationnelle, y compris les salles de soins intensifs équipées pour traiter les cas de coronavirus alors même que le pays rentre dans une deuxième vague d’infections.  

Le fond d’urgence de 100 000 euros sera utilisé pour la réhabilitation d’un service clinique (32 lits). Déjà la réhabilitation de quelques unités (comme la dialyse pour les patients chroniques) et départements (comme la radiologie) sont en train d’être réhabilité à l’heure actuelle comme vous pouvez le lire dans cet article paru dans l’Orient-Le Jour :

https://www.lorientlejour.com/article/1229220/durement-affecte-le-secteur-hospitalier-determine-a-se-redresser.html  

L'hôpital a officiellement approuvé cette levée de fonds.


In Portuguese

No dia 4 de Agosto às 18:07, em menos de um minuto, teve lugar uma explosão massiva no principal porto de Beirute. Num raio de trinta quilómetros a partir do epicentro, a onda de choque arrasou edifícios e estilhaçou janelas. A catástrofe causou pelo menos 157 mortes (número que continua a subir, já que muitas pessoas estão ainda desaparecidas), feriu gravemente 5000 e gerou uma dor indescritível num país que sofria já uma crise económica sem precedentes.

O porto foi completamente destruído e Ashrafieh, um bairro diante do porto, onde está situado o hospital, foi dos mais severamente atingidos pela explosão. O Centro Médico Hospitalar Universitário Geitaoui (fundado em 1927), sem fins lucrativos e um dos cinco maiores hospitais em Beirute (250 camas, 720 funcionários, 89 residentes, 140 médicos) que serve quase 20% da população da cidade (classe trabalhadora e classe média empobrecida) foi gravemente danificado.

Nos minutos que se seguiram à explosão, a equipa médica rapidamente tomou medidas para proteger os pacientes e funcionários do hospital, muitos dos quais foram feridos pela explosão. O pessoal médico e técnico foi mobilizado toda a noite no tratamento de centenas de pessoas gravemente feridas no parque de estacionamento das urgências, em momentos incrivelmente comoventes que jamais serão esquecidos. Infelizmente, apesar destes esforços heroicos, 12 pacientes perderam a vida.

O hospital perdeu toda a sua capacidade operacional na explosão. Mais especificamente, os departamentos de imagiologia e radiologia foram completamente destruídos. A recentemente aberta unidade de COVID-19 foi completamente arrasada, inclusive equipamento de pressão negativa e unidades de tratamento de ar, diminuindo assim o já de si limitado número de alas equipadas para o COVID disponíveis no país e salas de cuidados intensivos, numa altura em que o Líbano conhece um surto de novas infecções. As salas de operações foram também afectadas bem como a recentemente aberta suite de cateterização cardíaca, com equipamento médico essencial (camas de pacientes, monitores, desfibriladores, máquinas de pressão arterial) seriamente danificado com o impacto da explosão. Todas os quartos de pacientes foram devastados, os vinte elevadores do hospital não funcionam e o hall de entrada, cafeteria e cozinha do hospital estão em ruínas.
 
O esforço de reconstrução para restabelecer este hospital essencial ao seu papel, numa previsão optimista, demorará um ano.

O director do Hospital CMU, Dr. Nagi Abi-Rached, cardiologista, estima que um fundo inicial de 400 000 euros tornaria o hospital minimamente operacional em poucas semanas, de modo a servir as necessidades mais urgentes da população.

Mais especificamente, o fundo ajudará o hospital a reabilitar e equipar 1 a 2 alas línicas com 32 camas de pacientes por piso (normalmente, em 8 pisos) e 1 a 2 salas de operações (em 9). Além disso, será possível reabilitar e equipar o Departamento de Emergência e retomar o ensino clínico (o hospital está filiado na Universidade Libanesa). Estes serviços contribuirão para preencher as necessidades médicas mais urgentes que um sector devastado não pode proporcionar neste momento – tendo os outros quatro principais hospitais sido também gravemente danificados (sendo que um deles cessou todas as operações).

Todos os fundos angariados serão direccionados à primeira fase urgente de reabilitação do Hospital CMU Geitaoui. O objectivo é angariar tanto quanto possível de modo a chegar ao valor urgentemente necessário de 400 000. A quantia a ser angariada será transferida directamente para o fundo de emergência (http://www.hopital-libanais.com/otherdefinitions/donate).

A equipe de gestão do CMU Geitaoui, em especial o Dr. Nagi Abi Rached, gerente médico, e Antoine Saab, gestor de qualidade e segurança, comunicam constantemente com esta campanha GoFundMe e o hospital aprovou-a oficialmente: http://www.hopital-libanais.com/otherdefinitions/donate

Precisamos de toda a ajuda,

Joelle Abi-Rached, MD PhD

(with thanks to Michel Kabalan and Joana Gomes for the Portuguese translation)

Donations

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  • Marianna Tzabiras 
    • €30 
    • 2 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • €200 
    • 2 mos
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    • €50 
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    • €10 
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Fundraising team (2)

Joelle Abi-Rached 
Organizer
Paris, France
Lola Sounigo 
Team member
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