Tuesday, March 4, 2008
I got here OK
Well It was a 6 hour flight from JFK to Amsterdam, an 8 hour flight from Amsterdam to Entebbe. A 1 hour drive from Entebbe to Kampala where we stayed overnight. Then we got on a bus at the central bus station at 8:30 am. It sat there till 10:15 am. We arrived in Kabale at 5 pm and It was a 2 1/2 hour car ride from there to our village called Kisoro. Impressions: the roads are horrible either paved with potholes or not paved with a lot of rocks. It is very green. There are a lot of people walking around balancing things on their heads. The internet is REALLY slow.
Today was my first day in the hospital on the wards. I am on the male ward. I had 25 new patients to meet and learn about. Ages 12-75. Some have malaria, some have pneumonia, some have had trauma. One 13 year old boy has burns all over his body. At around 12 pm they brought in a new patient. 24 yr old boy breathing very fast. His family said he was too weak to get out of bed and hadn't eaten or drinken for days. I couldn't get a blood pressure or feel a pulse. He was very cold. I could tell he was in shock. His eyes were yellow and by his finger tips and eyelids I could tell he was severly anemic. He was difficult to arouse and couldn't answer any questions. The nurse couldn't put an IV in and so I put one in his neck and we sent off a blood sample for hemoglobin and type and screen. I instructed them to keep giving him lots of fluids.
Two hours later he was still breathing fast and cold but was more arousable and I thought he might be getting better but I still couldn't get a blood pressure or feel his pulse. Basically he stopped breathing and died and there was nothing I could do. I would have had a lot more medications, equipment, and tests at my disposal if I were in the US and could have probably saved him.
Uploading pictures takes way too long so I am not able to do it. More blog to come. I will update this blog as frequently as I get a chance. So check every few days.