Wednesday, July 30, 2008

At the public hospital and prep work

Dr. Debra with a not so happy patient :-)

Dr. Jim in his exam room
All teams were in full gear today! Our two doctors, Debra and Jim were working in the out-patient clinic area at the public hospital. Debbie was seeing pediatric patients and Jim saw mostly adults.

Just some information about Honduras according to the World Health Organization:

probability of dying under 5 years of age:
U.S.: 8 per 1000
Honduras: 41 per 1000

probability of dying between 15 - 60:
U.S. : 137 per 1000
Honduras: 248 per 1000

Life expectancy at birth:
U.S.: male - 75 female - 80
Honduras: male - 65 female - 69

HEALTHY Life expectancy:
U.S.: male - 67 female - 71
Honduras: male - 56 female - 60

Also, Dr. Debra was able to talk to the primary physician with the out-patient area in the public hospital about death rates in the hospital. She noticed that there was not a ventilator in the pediatric area. Come to find out there isn't a ventilator in the entire hospital. All surgery is done with a spinal block, NOT under general anesthesia as there is no ventilator. Therefore, if a person or a child goes into respiratory failure, the best they can do is put a tube down their throat and try to get them to the hospital in San Pedro Sula (2 1/2 - 3 hours away), using manual means of ventilation, and not with a ventilator. Needless to say, most do not survive. Dr. Debra then made a comment, that probably 2 - 3 patients a month probably die because of this, don't they? The response that came back was staggering. Not 2 - 3 children die a month, 2 - 3 children die a WEEK because of respiratory complications, and there just aren't the means to care for them or increase their chances of survival because of a ventilator.

This information goes to further convince us of the importance of preventative medicine in the community. My goal has always been to set up a clinic in the outlying village to try and prevent these health issues to getting as bad as they clearly have gotten. It has been a true blessing to have this team here to help establish the way.

Carl, our surgeon, along with Aileen, have been hard at work as well. They had 3 surgical cases. They continue to be amazed at how different things are done, and how creative the surgeons here have become in using what is available to them. Imagine hand screwing screws into a bone. They only have the use of a drill for 1 surgery as it has to go to another hospital for sterilization. They have been truely thankful to have Carl and Aileen with drills for all their procedures - along with their expertise! What a blessing to the hospital. A neat thing was that Dr. Carl's wife, Francie was able to be in the OR with her husband. She is trying to "learn the ropes" so she can be a future assistant in the OR in the future.

Dr. Carl and Aileen in the OR

Finally, crew three of Devin, John, Madison, and myself busied ourselves with setting up and prepping for the medical clinic tomorrow. We are excited to see how it goes. More details about that tomorrow.

Devin and John also continued to cut, measure, and prep the wood for the construction of bunk beds for future teams! Woohoo!

1 comment:

Zoe said...

You first team! WOOHOO! Awesome! I'm so very happy for you girl!