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Published: August 14th 2014
Today was the first full functioning day at the hospital, given it's a Monday. We were packed. All clinics were packed and we ran two ORs all day.
Ortho was relatively light in the OR. We had one case - a revision of an external fixator, wash out, and flap coverage of the open tibia fracture that had come in my first night. Dr. Thomas, a Haitian orthopaedic surgeon who trained with French surgeons in trauma for 6 years, also scrubbed. We got excellent alignment of the fracture and he taught me how to do a full thickness skin flap for coverage. It was amazing. I wanted to put a rod in the tibia, but he said the infection rates here in Haiti are too high. The patient will need a skin graft in a week or so, and hopefully that will be his last surgery.
I saw two patients with leprosy, which I have only read about. The wife had two below the knee amputations and the husband had below the ankle amputations. Neither had fingers. They were seen regularly by a prosthetist who works in Port Au Prince. We may do a revision amputation on the husband
depending on if the prostatist feels he can get a good prothesis for his right leg.
I saw a few kids with gait abnormalities - very common cause of seeing kids in the states as well. All were benign. We admitted one man for an infected leg caused by a parasite.
I was able to give a talk to the Haitian nursing students on wound care. It is a new thing we are doing this year. They were SO INVOLVED and asked a ton of questions. I had an interpreter and I had made handouts in French, with the assistance of Google Translate and a friend. It is exciting to see the bright people coming to the medical field here.
I then spent hours in the back room organizing sets for trauma and surgery. We just have loads of old, semifunctioning, and disorganized equipment. I felt as if I made great headway.
My main compatriots are a 3rd year medical student, Cam, and Naomi, the orthopaedic surgeon from Kansas would first told me about this trip at a conference. Cam himself had osteosarcoma as a child, and had a Van Ness amputation and walks with a
prosthesis. You would never know. He plays lacrosse. Naomi is a beast. She never tires, she never stops. She was the last to dinner tonight. She spends about 8 weeks a year doing work like this.
The women at the house take care of us. We have two sleeping spots with 4-8 beds a room. No hot water, but you wouldn't want it. Food is really good, bread fruit and fried plantains and lots of meat.
Tonight we are celebrating the fact that the construction team has almost completed the roof by drinking beers on top of it. Fortunately, there are a bunch of doctors so no one should get hurt.
All in all- amazing. Can't wait for more.
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