Uganda Spine Mission Days 3 & 4
Contributed by Rachelle Lieberman
The past two days we have split the team up into 2 groups. One group led by Dr. Holman went to Mulago hospital to operate and the other team led by Dr. Lieberman went to Case hospital.
On day 3 the Mulago team operated on a 23 year old trauma victim who was paralyzed from the shoulders down. They successfully performed a multiple level cervical corpectomy with anterior plating from C5 to T1. The patient was recovered on the spine ward, however, unfortunately through the night the patient developed breathing difficulties presumably due to aspiration (food and fluid entering the lung) which necessitated him being transferred to the ICU. While in the ICU he continued to deteriorate rapidly and despite aggressive recusitative measures did not respond and did not survive. The team was so disappointed that all their efforts were undermined by events out of their control.
Dr. Lieberman’s team finished up the last of the patient exams in the penalty box at Case and Mulago, seeing another 20+ patients.
Day 4 both teams performed one surgery. Dr. Holman’s team operated on a 22 year old male and performed a T2 laminectomy and removal of osteoblastoma and fusion from T1 to T3. Dr. Lieberman’s group operated on a 19 year old woman with a severely deforming congenital scoliosis and performed an instrumentation correction, fusion and thoracoplasty (rib resection).
Both teams had a long day and left the hospital satisfied with their accomplishments.
Back in Dallas, Texas Back Institute was celebrating the graduation of their current spine fellows and the welcome for this years new fellows. Since Ejovi is one of this years fellows (even though he plans on spending another 6 months with TBI) Dr. Lieberman and him joined the party via Skype. It was a late night considering the 8 hour time difference but very much worth the celebration.
Tomorrow is another long day for all. Dr. Holman’s team have 2 surgeries scheduled and Dr. Lieberman’s team has one. Updates on all to come soon!
I talked about the traffic in our last post so I thought I would share a photo from our drive today.