Thursday, May 24, 2012

Clinic insanity

These past 2 weeks have been hectic. We've had between 20 and 30 American visitors at all times, and in clinic, we've seen a lot of crazy stuff...

A woman with herpes zoster, secondary skin infection because of her advanced case of AIDS.

 A 13 year old girl with a tumor in her jaw - bone tumor or tumor of the gums? Not sure.

 Continued care for our infected foot lady. Daily dressing changes and very slow progress.

A boy with a 5-year old eye infection that hasn't responded to our strongest eye meds.

 Visiting medical people teaching our staff how to put in IVs. Practicing on Ben and 3 visitors, only one of whom passed out from the combined heat and the sight of his own blood.

A toddler with a nasty ear infection that eventually revealed maggots in an open wound adjacent to the ear canal.

 Over 3 visits, we've yanked a total of 11 live maggots out of this girl's ear. Full grown, 1 cm long, 3mm thick maggots.

I still get squirmy in my tummy when I think about it. Maggots, tunneling in a child's ear, eating her flesh, going deeper and deeper, swimming in the pus and blood, clinging to the wound as I try to pull them out with tweezers. UGH!

Oh, and did I mention that this week alone, we have treated about 20 kids a day for high fevers? Monday is our only general consultation day - on the other days, you have to have an appointment for prenatal or blood pressure or malnutrition program. Our 2 exceptions are blood and fevers. So this week, there was a perpetual crowd of parents and children at the door, including one dad with his 4 children. All of them had fevers over 101.

Our Haitian staff blames it on rainy season, a combination of increased malaria rates thanks to the proliferation of mosquitos, and the simple change in temperature (from an average 90 degrees during the day and 75 at night to about 98 degrees and 85 at night).

All in all, an exhausting week and a constant learning experience.

1 comment:

OutOfNY said...

Our team was in Haiti (PaP, Mellier) May 8-15 with 2 doctors (pediatrician, ob/gyn). We all worked on construction. We experienced the same in 2010 - a physician's assistant and ob/gyn clearing rubble.

Is there an effective method for medical folks to connect to clinics once in the country?