Hospital Publico

Published: April 13th 2007
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One of our patients in the global healing clinic. He's so cute!
Amy finally took the camera to work so now we have some pictures of the public hospital in Roatan. The hospital is in Coxen Hole, a town about 15 mins by taxi from West End. The pediatrics clinc is run by Global Healing. There is a Honduran doctor who works alongside the global healing volunteers. We get to the hospital around 7:30 am and see the newborns that were born in the last 24 hours. There is no newborn nursery or NICU, the babies co-sleep with their mothers. After examining the babies, we round in the pediatrics ward with Dr. Jackie, one of the pediatricians. The pediatrics ward has about 8 beds and 2 isolettes. The patients usually have respiratory problems or skin infections, but we had a patient with HIV and one with malnutrition/failure to thrive.

We start clinic around 8:30 and see patients all morning. There are a lot of patients with URI's, ear infections, skin infections, scabies and asthma. Occasionally we see parasitic infections or malaria. We have some donated meds that we can give out but for some things we have to write prescriptions, and hope that the patients fill them. We have some nebulizers
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This is the front of the hospital in Coxen Hole, where the clinic is located.
for respiratory treatments (although, unlike in the U.S., the patients don't have their own nebulizers at home). Occasionally it becomes frustrating dealing with the lack of resources on the island. The other day we had a 2 week old with a sacral dimple that we wanted to get an ultrasound on (he had never been examined by a doctor before, even after birth). There is ultrasound on the island, but there are no radiologists to read them, so we had to figure out how to send them to the mainland (which a lot of patients can't afford). The kids are very cute, though, and are so happy when you give them something, even just a sticker or a toothbrush.

lThe general facilities in the hospital are pretty poor. There is no running water, so there are all these sinks that don't function--we use a LOT of hand sanitizer. Likewise, there are flushable toilets that don't flush. Luckily, the A/C is usually working! The patients are grouped by service and gender into wards (rooms) and all the beds are in one room together, not usually separated by curtains or anything. The hospital is pretty limited in what they can do

Dr. Jamie (one of the global healing volunteers), Dr. Charles and an orthopedic doctor at work in the pediatrics inpatient ward.
(no ventilators, for example). There is an OR, but it's unclear how they scrub for surgeries. There is a lab, but they don't do cultures.

There are some private clinics on the island, some even with laboratories, but they are more expensive. There is a medical center at nearby Anthony's Key Resort with a decompression chamber, among other things.

Additional photos below
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This is the pediatrics outpatient hall. Patients start getting in line to be seen at 6 am.

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