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You are here News Human Rights U.S. medical volunteers in Rafah hospital say they've never seen a worse health crisis

U.S. medical volunteers in Rafah hospital say they've never seen a worse health crisis

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US medical volunteers in GazaAt one of the last functioning hospitals in Rafah, scenes of horror are conveyed in clinical descriptions as U.S. medical volunteers grapple with the effects of Israeli military operations and border closures after seven months of war in Gaza.

"They tried to suture up the hole in the heart — they couldn't," Dr. Usman Shah, from California, explains to Dr. Ammar Ghanem about a patient wounded in an explosion. Ghanem, a vice president of the Syrian American Medical Society, is overseeing the intensive care unit and made a video on Friday of his conversation with Shah.

"There was too much blood loss – the heart cavity, they tried to massage it but the heart cavity was empty," Shah says.

The two are members of a team of U.S. and U.S.-trained doctors who arrived in Rafah 10 days ago as part of a medical mission organized by the Palestinian American Medical Association. Now, nearing the end of the mission, with Israel closing the main border crossing, they are unable to leave.

In the video recorded Friday by Ghanem, Shah tells him about the other two patients who arrived that morning with non-survivable injuries.

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