At Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza, we are no strangers to treating victims of airstrikes over the years. The team all too often must rush into the emergency room, all hands on deck, ready to treat shrapnel wounds, burns and blood loss. In the early days of the current Israel-Hamas conflict, our hospital of only 80 beds was quickly overrun.
On Oct. 17, following the explosion at Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City, we were flooded with dozens of wounded and dying victims. By the next day, our patient roster had grown by nearly 120. We knew it would be another sleepless night, another in a string of far too many since the violence started 10 days earlier.
As many as three to four children had to share single beds, and many more were forced to settle for the floors. Some patients from the hospital explosion came in screaming in pain, but others were silent, in shock or beyond saving. With anesthesia, iodine, alcohol, blood and even gauze running low or entirely gone, we had a dwindling supply of tools to help ease the human suffering. The people who flocked to Kamal Adwan to sleep in our hallways or even the parking lot, believing it safer than their homes, were no doubt as frightened as we were.
Read about the experience of Dr. Abu Safyia, a pediatrician in Gaza, at The New York Times.