March 24th, 2011
02:00 PM ET

Doctors operating without anesthesia in Misrata hospital

CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - For days, the wounded just kept coming to the 60-bed central hospital in Misrata, a city under siege from forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. But there were no empty beds, no electricity - only generator power. No anesthesia or painkillers.

A doctor said 109 people have died in Misrata over the past week. Six were killed Thursday by Gadhafi's rooftop snipers - unseen but too often precise. More than 1,300 others have been wounded since the protests erupted in the western city last month.

People flooded the hospital, wounded in war that has raged between the opposition and Gadhafi's forces. The strongman's tanks have been pounding the city and bombs fell Thursday near the hospital, the doctor said.

Residents reported a reprieve after coalition airstrikes targeted the Libyan military. But rooftop snipers kept taking aim. And the doctors kept doing their work.

They treated patients in corridors, and operated on them even without anesthesia.

They sent people with what the doctor called lesser injuries home to recuperate - including people whose legs and arms were amputated.

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soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Annie Kate

    Gadhafi loves his country and its citizens so much that he attacks hospitals, shoots at ambulances, and then makes it almost impossible for the doctors to treat the wounded – not enough room, no anesthesia, not enough supplies, etc. If he didn't care how could it be any worse?

    March 24, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
  2. Pamela Ewen

    Ground troops are simply going to have to be involved in Libya. There will be no other way to get rid of Gadaphi & his forces. I cannot understand why, with Misrata being on the sea, that humanitarian aid can't somehow be delivered to the hospital, dropped in little parachutes? Or something.
    I hope humanitarian aid arrives there soon.
    I'm a little baffled by Obama's way of handling this, maybe it was to make the UN & NATO take the lead and set a precedent for them doing so, but it seems to have cost a lot of innocent lives. The UN & NATO should try to set something up that doesn't take such a long time – a way to act decisively and quickly in a humanitarian emergency.

    March 24, 2011 at 9:45 pm |