General News About Haiti


The Doctors Get To Work.. Saving Lives

The Doctors Get To Work.. Saving Lives
Project Change: Bermuda Volunteers working in conjunction with Feed My Lambs. Dr. Christopher Johsnon, Derrick McLin (OR Tech), Derrick Washington (OR Tech) and Dr Alicia Stovell-Washington (Opthalmological Surgeon), Phillip Rego and Others Including US Rangers.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

-Tech Derrick McLin Attending to a Patient and Family and Dr. Stovell-Washington Debriding a Leg Infection.

January 26, 2010 Bon Repos, Haiti

Yesterday proved to be very challenging. A young girl suffered a respiratory arrest after reduction of a humerous fracture reduction. Without oxygen, she required mouth to mouth resuscitation for 10 minutes and she recovered. This is "bush" medicine but we have to use the resources that we have. The patient returned today without any consequences but we are reminded that the technological advances of the past two decades can be substituted by common sense and ingenuity. My team performed 24 procedures and an additional 20 patients were evaluated. Surgeries consisted of finger amputations, wound debridements, setting of broken bones, and care for patients with severe back injuries. Our EMTs went to a local tent centre and returned with several patients, two of who were quite infected and in need of care. One young man with an infected foot fracture presented with a fever of 103. Despite antibiotics and surgical release of the pus, he continued to
be dangerously febrile. We instituted alcohol rub downs, Tylenol, and tender loving care. His fever abated and he was discharged. He will require close follow up and antibiotics. Two US Army Airborne Rangers arrived at our facility. They will provide security and logistical support for our zone. They agreed to assist us with supplies and they will be checking on us. We have been waiting for a supply chain to be organised and we have had to order the items that we require from Bermuda (KEMH has donated much of what we need) and the Dominican Republic. These guys were a wonderful site to behold because it also means that the soldiers can bring sick patients to us. The second wave of this calamity is overwhelming infections, diarrheal disease, and malnutrition. We are seeing a number of patients who were treated elsewhere but have had no followup. Several of these patients have post-operative infections and we will be seeing these patients on a
daily basis with leave a plan in place so that these patients will be seen by a physician after we leave. This is a long-term problem and placing a band aid on the problem will not be enough. I am in awe of our team. An Orthopaedic Surgeon from Walla Walla, Washington joined our group today. He came in with another charity but they had no plan or facility for him to use. He fit in beautifully with our team and we were able to provide more patients with care. On a more human note, the young boy with the crushed 5th finger that is seen below was ravenously hungry. The cook for the medical center had prepared a meal of rice, onion sauce, fried potatoes, and salad. I made a plate for him and his father. They ate but then they shared those two plates with all the other patients who had not eaten. This was done quietly with grace that we would not see in a disaster in our more affluent neighborhoods of Bermuda or the US. This act of kindness touched
my heart and taught me more about what we can do as humans than anything that I learned at Harvard Medical School.

1 comment:

  1. The work that your team is doing is touching and it brings tears to my eyes. I am thankful that Bermuda is able to do their part in helping the people of Haiti.

    May God protect you and guide you during your mission.

    Kind Regards,

    Eric DeSilva, BScN, RN.
    Bermudian in Halifax, NS.