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Working in Clinic

March 11, 2009

Written from Haiti by Sarah Zollner Case, March 2009 team member:

On Monday and Tuesday, we had brisk mornings in the clinic, with a steady stream of patients that kept us busy. But on both afternoons the flow of patients slowed to a trickle and eventually petered out before our normal quitting time at 5 pm. While the slower pace has been surprising, the doctors have been very thankful for the lighter traffic as it has given them time to give some thorough, high quality care to a few patients who really needed the attention.

For example, yesterday a fourteen year old boy was carried into the clinic with his mouth and nose badly cut up and covered with blood. He had apparently had a seizure in the school building and fell and cut himself all of the way down to the cartilage. They had just gotten him situated on the treatment table when he seized again.

A few hours later, with some anti-seizure meds on board, Dr. Chau and Dr. Harold spent at least three hours carefully and painstakingly sewing the boy’s face back together. Chau says that in the states she would have referred a patient with such a complicated laceration to a plastic surgeon, but here we were just thankful there was a team of doctors available to repair his face and medicate him against infection. We can’t imagine how his face would have healed without immediate medical attention.

To read more, visit Sarah’s blog.

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