August 17, 6:30 pm
Started with rounds at Case Med Center. Yesterdays case had a fever and as soon as he saw me started screaming, a most natural response from the kids I operate on!
The 14 year old scoliosis patient is liking the pampered life of the hospital. She is a bit lazy so we will push her harder today.
We then went to Mulago and started with a trauma lecture to the residents. I stressed the importance of initial resuscitation, stabilization and prevention of bed sores.
We then got to the spine ward to organize today’s case, an unfortunate 20 yr male with multiple injuries including broken legs broken neck and paralysis. He has been in bed 2 weeks and already has bedsores on his bottom end and his head. The one on his bottom is already abcessed!
The team was all shocked by his condition, and even more shocked when Anaesthesia tried to cancel his surgery. Go figure this kids only chance is to get his neck stabilized so he can sit up and avoid pneumonia and bedsores. After some less than subtle persuasion the anesthesiologist realized that he and I are the kids only hope.
Considering the theatrics the case went off without any setbacks and I was able to decompress (make more room for the spinal cord) and rebuild his neck, the team performed admirably despite the Mulago conditions.
Unfortunately Mulago’s condition is deteriorating, despite a new OR. There is no infrastructure, the sterilizers do not work, half the light bulbs are either broken or burnt out. As a government funded hospital I can’t help but wonder what is in store for our health care system? It is a stark difference to the surgeries performed at the Private Case Medical Center.
The team is hungry and thirsty.
We are off to find a pizza place – we are trying to broaden our restaurant portfolio!