Sunday, February 14, 2010

Miami Hospital...

Miami here I come.

That is, Miami field hospital at the Port-au-Prince hospital, not Miami, Florida.
Otherwise known as Project Medishare in Haiti, a tent hospital supported by U of Miami.
I was nervous. Knowing I would be stretched and feeling very insecure.
Fortunately the people over there are great. And willing to accomodate almost anyone and fit you into the place where your skills are best used.
I talked to the ER docs and to the pediatricians and it was decided that I would work in the Emergency Room seeing the children that come through there - many of which could be treated as outpatients and some which would need to be admitted.

Friday afternoon was pretty slow. We were only there from about 2-5 and I only saw about 5 children. However, there was a pregnant lady that came in and seeing as we have an ObGyn on our team we stayed for the delivery. We were in the room for a number of hours but then at 6:30pm the very tired mommy gave birth to a very healthy little girl. She was about 6 weeks premature according to the mom's history but was doing very well. It was amazing to experience new life entering the world with so much suffering going on in the rest of the tent.

Saturday was busier. We left the base at 6:30am and didn't leave again till 7pm. I saw about 12 children that came through and saw them on my own. For a couple of them I asked for advice from an ER doc or from a very nice pediatrician. They were very thankful for my service in seeing the kids which was great and very willing to give advice from anything to thinking up a plan for a malnourished child to figuring out which medication to give a child who was vomiting persistently (with the random assortment of medication available). Yay for back-up! Not only am I seeing children but I am also joining in on some of the other cases. One man came in with a severe head trauma and before I knew it there were about 10 doctors involved -ER, surgery, neurosurgery, traumasurgeon, family doctor, etc. Busy! I couldn't do a whole lot but just helped where I could, getting supplies, hanging an iv bag, and once the man was intubated I bagged him for awhile before he was transported to ICU. It was pretty impressive. However, this man will not survive here, and the plan was for him to be airlifted to either Miamia (the real Miami in Florida) or the Comfort ship.

The children I saw mainly had malnutrition or diarrhea and vomiting with dehydration or urinarty tract infectins or respiratory tract infections. There was a malnourished 1 year old that came in pretty lethargic. But fortunately after giving her oral rehydration she perked up and after an hour she was sitting up and smiling. It was great to see the change. I basically observe the children myself, get their medications, give their intramuscular injections if they need them, etc. It's sad to hear some of the stories. Everyone has lost someone. Mom's continuously ask me for formula and diapers and sometimes even a place to stay. So sad. They have lost so much.

Miami hospital is a bit chaotic and you sometimes have to go to 3 different places to get the correct medication but it's amazing how much work is being done there. Unfortunately oxygen is in short supply and we even ran out when we were bagging the man with head trauma. Welcome to thirld world medicine.

While working on the man with the head trauma another man came in with a stab wound! He was quickly transported to the operating room though.

Most impressive was a man who came in with an earthquake related injury. His house collapsed on him and he has had severe neck pain. He had been diagnosed elsewhere with a spinal injury. When he came to us he said he had actually been walking around for the last month. On seeing his x-rays, it was a miracle. The neurosurgeon confirmed that the fracture was very unstable and any movement could cause him to become paralyzed. He was a walking miracle who is now in a neck brace and confined to his bed. I am not sure what the options are for him here. Likely he will have to be transported to the USA for surgery.

Tomorrow (Monday) I am going to Miami Hospital again to help with the pediatrics in the E.R. It seems to be a good fit, although I am sure I will be doing other things as well this next week. I had been hoping to work in the Police clinic (near palace) but so far that has not worked out. I would love it if I could experience that too though. So pray that God opens that door if it is meant to be opened. It was a bit frustrating because the medical staff there seemed to really want my help but the coordinating staff said they had enough people. God knows.

Please continue to pray. Also for my day at Miami tomorrow- for wisdom and insight and skills. It at times is a little nerve wrecking not knowing what kinds of cases will walk in. God has been faithful.

For those wanting to volunteer in Haiti - Miami hospital is continuously looking for volunteers- especially nurses! It's just a hint....

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~ Act Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. micah 6:8 ~