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Revolutionizing Spine Care…Changing Lives

Uganda Spine Surgery Mission Day 7 and 8: ‘A bumpy weekend’

Saturday, started with rounds to see the surgery patients in the ICU. Little Isaac, Kenneth, and James are all doing great. James is lying on his ‘I’m fine,’ he says, his usual response. The team changed all the dressings, and after a quick walk into the adult surgical wards to check on the rest of the post-op patients, the team headed back to work in the O.R.

Today’s only surgical patient for Dr. Lieberman’s team is Moreen, 15 years young, with a congenital scoliosis, and who will be undergoing a correction of her deformity. While finishing with Moreen, putting in her last sutures, Lance, comes bolting into our room, ‘We need an anesthesiologist. Ours just bolted out of the door!’ Dr. Lubis, the anesthesiologist extraordinaire ran after him, sensing the panic in his voice. Everyone in the room was puzzled as to what had happened, hoping all is okay. Tom who is also next door comes in, a second later, also in a panic, asking for the keys to the storage room. He grabs them, then leaves, leaving everyone even more bewildered. While finishing with Moreen, Dr. Owusu hands Dr. Gorlick the needle holder so that he can complete the suturing and rushes next door to see what is happening. A little while later, Dr. Lubis comes back into the room, she explains how their spine patient Eric’s oxygen saturation (level of oxygen in the blood) had dropped unexpectedly and had set off a panic in the room. They were preparing to deal with the worst when they realized one of the tubes for his airway had somehow gotten disconnected. The tubes are re-connected, his oxygen saturation levels go back up, and crisis averted. Eric was team Sparta’s last surgery of the day and of the entire trip as they leave the next morning.

Sunday, their rest day, had an 8am start. All of teams did their final rounds at the hospital, first in the ICU then in the wards. The team finished up the hospital and headed back to the hotel for the rest of the day.

A

Eric’s severe kyphoscoliosis

C

Joseph assisting Dr. Lieberman, and Dr. Owusu in scoliosis surgery.

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