Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday Rounds

We rounded on the patients in the hospital, starting around 830AM as per our usual routine. The kids on the pediatric ward were getting over their malaria and diarrhea and got to go home. The men in the male ward were getting over their malaria and pneumonia and also went home. The female ward was another story. We have a mix of acutely and chronically sick patients, few of which were well enough to go home. One patient, who has been on the ward for about 3 months, looks like she will finally go to the operating theatre for removal of a pin that was placed to hold her fractured leg bones together. She is calling her family members to raise money for the procedure. The whole cost, including the hospital fee plus the outside surgeon's and anesthetist's fees will be about $300. This would be a bargain in the US but would be out of reach for many in the area. She will get the surgery tonight, and we'll work out the finances later.

We have had electricity for most of the day. When the power goes out, we start a generator the size of a suitcase that can run one power strip. This allows us to give oxygen via an oxygen concentrating machine (oxygen via the tanks typically used in the US is too expensive for most of the world), to run a few labs, and to charge lanterns. But today we were doubly lucky: plenty of electricity and no patients sick enough to require oxygen. I count that as a good day, indeed.

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