One casualty, eight injured
Saturday 5:30 p.m. and the last rays of sunshine have crept behind the mountain range and the cool of night floods Curahuasi’s high valley. The workers still on the fields should now head back to their warm houses. As darkness falls the streets and squares appear so tranquil. But suddenly the “Bomberos” sirens shatter the quiet and the volunteers of the local fire brigade move out. What has happened? The first rumours scuttle through the small town.
A harvester pick-up truck turned over. Why? Was the driver drunk? Within a couple of minutes a woman dies from her wounds. Eight accident victims are transported as carefully as possible to the Hospital Diospi Suyana.
Dr Ruben Ibarra is the doctor on duty. He immediately informs his colleagues and provides the injured persons with first aid: venous lines inserted, wounds treated, painkillers given and laboratory tests performed. The team of the x-ray department will have their work cut out tonight with radiographs and CT scans. Everyone knows exactly what to do: a well-coordinated team.
Six patients can be treated in Curahuasi while two have to be brought to Cusco. While traumatologist Dr Tim Boeker co-ordinates the actions of the doctors and nurses, his wife Dr Miriam Boeker conducts a child delivery. The cries of agony of the injured mingle with the shouts of joy of the mother and midwife.
At midnight the patients are handed over to the hospital in Cusco and three hours later the ambulance and the team are back in Curahuasi. Calm descends a second time this night – hopefully it will last until daybreak.
Postscript: one of the two patients brought to Curahuasi has died.