Saturday, August 27, 2011

A story with a good ending...

Thursday did not start off well. I was showing a visiting doctor around the hospital and the first place we went to was ward 3. I think that’s my favorite ward. The patients are for the most part stable, but the cases are varied. There are general cases as well as children with tuberculosis, HIV, Burkitt’s lymphoma, etc. I thought it would be a good place to start the tour, but I was wrong. As soon as we walked in, I noticed a nurse removing a cannula from a child on the examination table. It only took seconds to realize that the child had died. What a terrible introduction to the hospital. Face to face with reality.

Later, on our way to ward 1, I noticed a mom walking into the building with a child on her back. The child was totally covered by her lappa and by the look of the bundle it looked like the child wasn’t breathing properly. I asked the mom to remove the child. The child was gasping. I found out it was a new patient and the mom had been looking for the registration area. To make a long story short and skip some of the frustrating parts – I carried the child up to the Emergency Room and we proceeded to treat the child.

Alongside me were a couple of nurses, one of who used to work in Aberdeen and is now doing her RN training. I was thankful to have her by my side. While putting the child on oxygen (with some delays), we checked the blood sugar, which was LO. We were struggling to get a cannula in and so in the meantime I grabbed the ambubag as a precaution. Finally one of my colleagues managed to secure a line. We gave 30 mls of Dextrose 10% and waited. And after just a few minutes the child’s breathing normalized, the child was alert and the child even started fighting the nurses. Thank God I ran into this child and got her to the Emergency Room. And thank God for Dextrose!

I have to say that it is one of the most amazing recoveries to witness. A child that comes in unconscious, often gasping, receives dextrose and then comes back to life as it were. I made it a point to use the moment as a teaching opportunity and talk to the (student) nurses about hypoglycemia and the importance of recognizing it and treating it and, once corrected, monitoring it. I think that the nurses were also amazed at the child’s response. Everyone was very aware that any more delay would have cost the child’s life.

This morning, two days later, I was on one of the general wards and saw the child and mom. The child is doing much better and the mom was very thankful. I am grateful for happy endings.

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