Here's a little news from this last week. We've had the normal regime of runny noses and pregnancies and digestive issues as well as a few more interesting cases. On Wednesday an older lady arrived at the clinic with severe difficulty breathing and edema in her legs. She was also experiencing some chest pain. We decided that she probably had congestive heart failure along with some pneumonia. Her blood pressure and heart rate were also way above normal. We put her on some oxygen and administered a diuretic via IV. It is hard to always get a very precise diagnosis with the limited diagnostic equipment available here, but it seems the staff here has adapted very well and does an amazing job with minimal equipment.
|Me trying to find a suitable vein for a difficult IV start|
|The cut, before it started bleeding bad again.|
|Holding the knife victim down while Rhoda closed up the cut|
to reach for it, and the rest of the bystanders out the door. I went and checked on the sick woman that had just arrived. She was complaining of pain and weakness all over which had started in her stomach. Her close relative had died from a major heart attack the previous Saturday and she was worried the same thing was happening to her. Her vitals were all within normal limits and there was nothing going on that looked very cardiac related. I tried to reassure her with my extremely limited creole that she probably was not having a heart attack and went to see what was going on in the operating room. The stitch job had been aborted due to excess bleeding from a small blood vessel that had been severed by the knife resulting in a large hematoma. After some discussion and attempts to find the vein the nurses decided to go ahead and put some stitches back in and control the bleeding with direct pressure and ice packs. Our patient did not seem to be able to keep from thrashing around and fighting when anything was done to the cut so we had to physically restrain her while Rhoda stitched the cut shut. We finally finished and put her on a hospital bed with an ice pack on the wound. She had completely worn herself out by this time. All in all, it was a traumatic experience for most of those involved.