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.



Jeremy said...

Glad to hear you arrived okay. Sounds like a very intense start to a powerful, challenging journey. We're all rooting for you back in the U.S. and A!

Benjamin said...

huge indeed!

Emily said...

Definitely sounds like an overwhelming and intense first day. Uganda is luck to have you!

Rebecca said...

Wow- a very intense start. We're all thinking about you and know you are facing a challenging month. But you will certainly bring a special knowledge and sense of care to this region.

Eli said...

The interview with Bush link on your other blog is such a tease. Also, can you do a post with pros and cons about Uganda vs Israel as the Jewish State?