Thursday, April 23, 2015

Around the Web

Some of our recent visitors have blogged about their time here.  You can read about their
experiences, and get another perspective on the work here at the hospital.

Aaron Tabor, a fourth year medical student blogs at Make A Change.   He blogs in detail about his experience in Impfondo. 

No real clinical duties today. I don't think I talked about the church service today either actually now that I think about it. Dr. Wegner ended up not being able to come, so last minute they asked if I would lead the service and play guitar. So I had Joyce jump on the piano and I played guitar instead. Sadly, we had another kid with cerebral malaria who coded and that's why Dr. Wegner couldn't make it to the service. Sounds like maybe there were some other pretty sick kids this morning too, because when I did see Dr. Wegner he said it was a pretty bad morning. I've been here in Impfondo for just over a week and watched several kids die, I can't imagine what it's like for the extended periods of time. In the ER it's pretty different because they come in sick, and if it's a code blue, you do what you can. Even if you have a patient in the hospital say in the ICU, you still aren't the one caring for them constantly, you round and see them and make decisions and leave. Here, you do everything. So watching the girl I spent 8 hours keeping alive then code and die the next morning, that's when it gets a bit harder. You don't want to get too attached, because as I've said, death is common in the Congo. But also you don't want death to completely unaffect you. Death doesn't bother me as much in America when you see it because it's also not as close in the moments after. You don't watch as the families pick up the dead bodies and go bury them. It's also knowing that we could save the kids, if we only had this, that and the other. Jason and I were discussing how you don't hear a whole lot about kids getting sick with infection and dying subsequently in the hospital. Above all, I think what makes it hard in comparison to America, is that it's really simple things that kill them... {read the rest here}

Another visitor, Kara Kinsley is a PA student.  She blogs at International Physician's Assistant.  

One week in! The day started in labor and delivery. The maternity suite is an open room that has two beds. At the beginning of labor women come into the room and place their own sheet on the bed. The midwives will attach a yellow bucket to the end of the bed in an attempt to catch all the bodily fluids from the delivery. The midwives handle most deliveries here and are very good. They tend to only call the doctor when there is a problem. Today there was a problem. The women who was delivering was determined to have a breech presenting baby, but still continued with a vaginal delivery. C-sections here have to be planned relatively far in advance because the fastest they can prepare the OR is 45 minutes. (Not fast enough for an emergency). The process of pushing took about 45 minutes to an hour from the presentation of the baby’s bottom. There was a lot of meconium that came with the bottom, so it was clear that the baby was in stress. It was very difficult for the mom to push out the baby in this position. The midwives tried to gently pull baby out when mom was pushing but it was unsuccessful. By the time we got the baby out, his heart had stopped beating. We rushed the baby to the counter and initiated ACLS on what looked like a cafeteria tray. Unfortunately, he was unable to be revived. This occurrence is somewhat common at the hospital. Many women arrive with little to no prenatal care and emergencies can not be handled with the speed they can be in many other places. My heart aches for this mother and her lost infant. I pray for emotional healing for this family. {read the rest here}

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