Thursday, January 28, 2010

January 28, 2010 - A Long, Difficult Day

From Dr. John Donovan, anesthesiologist (Alta Bates Summit Medical Center):

"We started the day off with a relatively light day on the schedule. The thought crossed our mind that we might actually leave the hospital with daylight.

This changed quickly when we started to see pediatric patients with medical and surgical problems. We operated on a child with a ruptured appendix.

While we were rounding on patients doing wound care, we were frantically called to the ER to evaluate a critically ill 2-week-old child. Sutter physicians worked with Canadian colleagues to resuscitate the child who suffering from dehydration, sepsis and pneumonia.

Resources to manage a critical care case like this were scarce even prior to the earthquake – now we faced even more daunting problem – how to manage a neonatal patient that required critical care after the earthquake. The U.S. Navy could no longer take intubated children and it was impossible to find a ventilator at a Haitian hospital.

Finally, we were able to set up a transfer to a larger Haitian hospital via a UN ambulance for our young patient. The vehicle was brand new and nicely armored but did not have medical staff.

Steve Lockhart M.D. (anesthesiologist, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center) and a Canadian nurse traveled with the critically child on the 2 hour trip to the other hospital. In the end it was a long difficult day."

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