Surgery Begins

Surgery begins

And we thought clinic day was hectic! The morning started out with Nazly and Ann noticing some activity on the bridge below our hotel. Ann immediately sprinted down to the bridge and literally saved an Ecuadorian’s life! That was before the 6:30am team meeting to review today’s patients.

These nurses, physios, processors and volunteers really know what they are doing. We had a huge hive of activity setting up a nursing station, preparing the discharge medication bags, ordering other medications, preparing patient charts, receiving blood from patients/families (patients bring their own blood) and providing pre-op care. It is mind boggling the amount of detail and the logistics required to set up a health system within a foreign hospital. The nurses were so positive and kind, especially in reassuring nervous patients before surgery. Some of the ward nurses even said a prayer with the patient and their family before taking the patient down to the OR. At the same time, patients accompanied by family members were still appearing, hoping to be seen by a doctor.

By the afternoon, three surgical rooms were utilized and several patients were already back from surgery. The physios went out and bought pillows and crutches, so that patients could have the best chance for a good recovery. It was hard to believe that soon after that, the physios already started working with post-op patients. Tanya and Nonnie were so cheerful, encouraging and clear in their instructions. At their bequest, the most junior physio, Emily, even turned around and performed a perfect glute squeeze (one of the prescribed exercises) so that there was no misunderstanding by the patient!

The processors are a group that is not the first to come to mind when someone thinks of a medical mission. However, they work super hard and work later than the rest of the group – hours after surgery is completed to ensure that tools and equipment are sterilized and processed and ready to be used next time around. Schedules can only go as fast and smoothly as this group processes. Definitely unsung heroes!

It’s still Carnival time. On or about February 25, 2017 at 20:08 hours, several docs and Don, our volunteer IT expert were obeying all local laws and walking several blocks east of Hotel Crespo, when they became unconsenting victims in a drive by foaming. It is alleged that the perpetrator was a a young girl, leaning out of a car with a foam sprayer. Dr. Rod definitely got a ear full….of foam! With good humor, the docs tell us this is how they prefer to be thanked!

A super first day of 7 surgeries. As Kelly, our 6th timer said, “Best first day ever!” More to come tomorrow.

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