May 13, 2015. Dr. Scott Cordes was operating on a patient Tuesday when the hospital building in Nepal began to violently shake. He could hear screams throughout the hospital as nurses and family members tried to evacuate patients.
Cordes, an assistant clinical professor with the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, was treating victims of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal less than three weeks ago, when the area was struck again — this time by a 7.3-magnitude quake centered between the capital Kathmandu and Mount Everest.
"They were already under severe stress from the first earthquake. Most of them had lost their homes and were severely injured," said Cordes, also a surgeon with NorthShore Orthopaedic Institute. "Some were trapped in their beds, either in casts or in traction, having just undergone surgery or waiting for an operation. So they couldn't run out of the hospital."
Within an hour, a wave of about 50 people arrived at the Kathmandu hospital. Cordes said they could provide only emergency casts and splints, feeling for broken bones, because people couldn't re-enter the hospital until officials were sure it was stable. Read more