Posted on April 21st, 2010 No commentsLoma Linda University (LLU) and its partners are continuing to work to support the Hopital Adventiste d'Haiti in Port-au-Prince. LLU is not alone in these efforts. Together they are pooling their resources and are working closely with Park Ridge Adventist Hospital/AHS, Florida Hospital, CURE International, Life Enhancement Association for People (LEAP), and Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA).The following strategy update was posted yesterday on the Global Health Institute website.
- The need for additional medical teams continues, but as we move forward the composition of these teams will change to reflect current needs at the hospital. Keep in mind the needs change almost daily.
- As of April 20, 2010, the "Dream Team" includes:
- 1-2 Orthopaedic Surgeons
- 1 General Surgeon
- 1-2 Anesthesiologists (MDs and CRNAs)
- 1-2 ER Physicians
- 1-2 Pediatricians
- 4-8 RNs of whom 2-4 with OR and ER experience
- 1-2 Physical Therapists and/or Occupational Therapists
- 2 Pharmacists
- 2+ Central Supply Personnel
- 2 Utilities and Maintenance Personnel
- We also welcome applications from OB-GYNs, PAs,NPs and other health care professionals. We would like to keep the number of our teams to about 25-30 people on any given week.
- The teams will work at the Adventist Hospital.
- The current strategy is to send in teams for at least a 9 day cycle (Teams arrive on Friday and leave on Sunday.) A longer term of service is preferred.
- LLU will maintain and manage the schedule of the various teams and provide them with information about their trip and tips about what to bring, etc.
- Selection and composition of the particular teams will be done with input from all the partners mentioned above in close consultation with the administration at the Adventist Hospital of Haiti. It is very important that we send essential personnel in an organized manner so as to not strain already limited support resources.
- LLU and our partners are committed to support our hospital in the months to come. These efforts will build on local available resources under the leadership of Lesly Archer, MD, Medical Director for the Adventist Hospital and supported by Orthopedic Surgeon, Scott Nelson, MD.
Reposted from haitibones.org - thanks Jim
Posted on April 20th, 2010 No comments
“Pa bwe, pa mange a minwit.” If I learn nothing else in Creole, I will at least know how to tell people not to eat or drink anything after midnight because they have “operation deme” (tomorrow). Ha ha, I love my patients though even though we can barely communicate. I have a lot of young girls with broken legs from the earthquake (working on the ortho service). One of them shared her salsa music with me. Another confided how she had a crush on one of the “white men” ha ha. Another keeps begging to braid my hair. It makes it fun when there’s lots to do.
There are some crazy things that walk our halls. A woman comes to the ER for daily dressing changes of the mass that protrudes from the left side of her head – maggots and all. The med students got pimped on the differential diagnosis of a groin mass as we were shown a woman with a baby-head sized ulcerating mass with black material in the middle. The large black spot on her heel gave it away, malignant melanoma. I was stuck down in the OR draining one of the wound vacs. Alex had spent forever assisting in an exploratory laparotomy…why was this little boy’s bowel so infected and destroyed? They patched him up, closed him up, and it wasn’t until anesthesia was waking him up, that I heard an extra loud gurgle from the suction. “Hey Jess, come here.” There Alex stood next to his attending who was holding a very long white wiggling worm with a pair of tweezers. They found nothing during the surgery, but afterward, the worm was sucked out of his throat. Ha, emptying the wound vac was so worth it that night.
Our translators are amazing. They work SO HARD and just get paid with lunch; that’s it as I understand it. I gave the offering call last Sabbath. Cliched, but I talked about being thankful for things we don’t even realize we need to be thankful for…like being able to communicate with each other (very difficult to give discharge instructions to a patient without a translator). As I put $5 in the offering plate, I thought to myself how thankful I was that I even had offering to give. Then I saw one of the translators also put in $5. Oh.
Everyone is pretty open about what happened on January 12. I haven’t met anyone yet that hasn’t lost someone. “Oh yes, I lost 7 family members.” “I have to go home to be with my mom every night because she gets scared to sleep alone.” “Our house is still standing, but we still sleep outside in the tent because it’s too scary.” Most of our translators are highschool or college age boys who would be in school, except for the fact that there is no longer a building. “Oh me? I study economics.” “I study linguistics.” “We were supposed to go back to school today, but people were sleeping in the school tent.” Many of them sleep at the hospital, in the OR, in exam rooms, on the benches. A very sweet nurse took me all around the hospital tonight to look for more prescription pads. She pounded on all the locked clinic and office doors and groggy people would eventually emerge from inside where they had been sleeping. We finally found some in the urology clinic where a very sleepy man had been curled up.
I spent forever developing a pain regimen for my 11 y/o girl that wakes up screaming every night. Nothing seemed to work. Upon further exploration, turns out everyone in her family except her mom died in the earthquake and now she has night terrors.
It’s really hard to discharge patients from the hospital when they have nowhere to go. And those who come from farther away have difficulty getting home because of the gas crisis. We have a few tents left that are able to go to people who meet certain criteria, but that’s not everyone. All the patients and families are friends, which also makes it hard. Why would you want to leave a place that gave you a bed, fellowship, and a free meal every day?
Haitians can sing, and it’s beautiful. I have one girl who hums to herself when she hurts. That’s how I know she needs pain medicine. Another lady wasn’t doing well in the ER and Jen said everyone else in there started singing to her. It’s beautiful.
Connections are being made little by little and it’s very exciting to watch the local staff be proud about various improvements and possibilities. The longer I’m here, the more I see parallels with home. I felt right at home when one of the Haitian doctors started discussing the pros and cons of using a B-blocker in one of my diabetic patients with migraines and hypertension the other night. And at first I was amazed that I didn’t feel tired here, but yup, even here things catch up with you
Food is short, but there is always enough. Not sick yet. Life is good.
Posted on April 13th, 2010 No comments
I agree with Sarah. I do feel like I’m running around all day. One hour to make sure blood gets drawn for a CBC (finding the people to get the materials, finding others to translate, attempting to draw it myself, failing miserably and being concerned my patient would leak like a sieve after many unsuccessful attempts, getting a translator to help me ask a Haitian nurse for help, watching as she attempted to collect the drops of blood on the patient’s skin in a vial for the lab when she too was unsuccessful) – check. Someone did eventually succeed, the blood was sent, and now I’m staring at a hemoglobin of 6 that I’m not entirely sure is accurate. If we do decide to transfuse him, his family (who don’t come often) will have to take a prescription to the general hospital, pick up the blood and bring it back, which, as you can imagine is not a fast process, nor is it one that will be happening tonight.
1.5 hours to follow up on someone getting their pain meds (finding the nurse, finding the other nurse, attempting to communicate, finding a translator, finding a better translator, talking with the nurse, talking with the patient, talking with the sister of the patient who insists the patient already received pain meds and is worried about giving her more…etc.) – check.
I think some education and motivation might be helpful for the Haitian nurses, but honestly, I don’t know how much I would get done either with as many patients as each carries and the whole ordeal one has to go through just to get the medicine from the pharmacy, mix it up and give it. Nevermind the fact that orders are written in English and the doctors aren’t always used to going over every order with the nurse to ensure it gets done. Some nurses are wonderful to work with, but then there are the ones who fall asleep when taking watch in the ER or who don’t give any of the night-time antibiotics on any of the patients with osteomyelitis. It’s a systems issue just as much as anything. Either way, little by little, and people are getting better.
The people who have been making our food are called the Supreme Masters of Chang Hai. They are vegan, have been here for a long time since the quake and have cranked out 2-3 meals a day for 1000 plus people (the volunteers, Haitian staff, patients, and people in the surrounding community). They have been amazing, but the last meal they made was last night.
Today, the Haitian staff began cooking again. They can’t crank out quite the volume, but it certainly it is tasty and it’s important to start turning things back over. No dinner tonight though and there aren’t enough meals to feed both volunteers and patients, so they’re coming up with a system to either split the meals or rotate them. I say, patients first and we can buy ours down the road from the grocery store. All the Haitians who know me from when we came in 2008 keep telling me how much weight I’ve gained. I think I look fine, but maybe by the end of this trip I’ll be back to an “acceptable” size – ha.
Supplies are in both great supply and demand, but not necessarily in a way that matches up conveniently. An example, we actually have wound vacs, but not so many cartridges that can be changed out. Solution: drilling holes in the “disposable” portion of the wound vacs, draining out the rancid smelling liquid with a syringe (whatever is being sucked out of the wound – blood, pus, etc.), then covering the holes with tegaderm…daily. Any guesses as to whose job that might be
It is highly likely that many of the supplies needed are here but just haven’t been reached in the unpacking and organization process. Some of the hallways are literally piled from floor to ceiling. Some of the volunteers are working full time to get the situation under control.
Engineers from Project Hope have been here all day working with some of the Haitian staff and many of the representatives from Loma Linda to help assess and make recommendations for the hospital. Tomorrow there will be a meeting to discuss some of the future plans for the hospital – much prayer needed!
Sleeping on the roof – a little scary in the rain, but we have a tarp (set up in the rain), and the best view of everyone (a little ocean, lush mountains, beautiful sunsets). A great place to escape from it all for a few minutes.
Posted on April 11th, 2010 No commentsWell if you haven't figured it out yet, I am no longer at the hospital in Haiti, I've been home now for just a little less than two weeks. Coming home has been an emotional roller coaster to say the least. It has been wonderful to be able to see my wife and boys on a daily basis rather than a month or more in between. But it has been very hard to re-inculturate to life in the developed world and all of the daily luxury that we take for granted. It's been even harder to hear of continued and in some cases increased challenges at the hospital and feel so far away and unable to help. That said, I have actually been able to assist the hospital and those working there from afar in a number of different ways since my return to the states. I have spent many hours over the past 10 days meeting and debriefing with AHI management and LLUGHI support staff to try and improve our overall effectiveness in helping the ongoing mission at the hospital. I have also continued work with a number of our partner organizations to foster additional donations of supplies and medical equipment. While I don't know if, or when, I will return to the hospital, I assure you my work there will continue for the foreseeable future.
Loma Linda University and AHI's continued involvement
Early this morning a team of LLU/AHI administration and support staff arrived at Hopital Adventiste for a hospital board meeting and exploratory visit. The team is:
Dr. Richard Hart - President AHI & LLU
Jerry Daly - Asst. VP LLU GHI
Mo O'Reilly - Project Manager GHI
Kenneth Breyer - Asst. VP LLU Construction Services
Nathan Lindsey - Potential Long-term volunteer for HAH
Please keep this team and the entire hospital board in your prayers over the next few days. The issues they will be debating in this board meeting will define the immediate and long-term future of Hopital Adventiste d'Haiti.
This blog and others
I will try to continue to update this blog with news from the hospital, albeit with even less frequency. That said, here are a couple of other blogs from folks currently at the hospital or those that have visited recently:
Cure Caribe by Dr. Scott Nelson - Currently working at HAH
Haitibones by Dr. Jim Matiko - Visited HAH two weeks ago and plans to return soon
DavidinHaiti by David Harris - College student volunteering at HAH spring & summer of 2010
Posted on April 4th, 2010 No comments
LLU Med Students Hold Down The Fort
There was a mass exodus of medical personnel from Hopital Adventiste d’Haiti last Friday. The ortho team consisting of 2 attendings, 2 residents, and 1 anesthesiologist along with General Surgeon Tom Kramer vacated their posts. One of the obstetricians left as well.
Fortunately, we left our patients in the capable hands of Corey Fuller, member of the Loma Linda School of Medicine Class of 2010. As mentioned in a prior post, Corey has been accepted into the Orthopaedics Surgery Residency Program at Loma Linda and had scrubbed with us on numerous occasions over the past week so he knew our patients well and functioned with an “ortho mindset.”
Corey sent me the following email early this morning:
“Things have been going great here. I’ve done all the dressing changes without any problems. We have had some patients show up for ortho issues in the ER and clinic over the weekend. A sprained ankle, some followups for fractures, suture removals…but nothing too big for me to handle. It has been a lot of fun, I’m looking forward to starting residency so I can be of greater use next trip!”
In the image above, Corey performs a dressing change under the supervision of the Interim Medical Director Dr Robert Soderblom.
In comparison to the orthopaedic team, the General Surgery Department has been relatively understaffed over the past couple of weeks with only one attending Dr Tom Kramer. He greatly appreciated the addition of LLU Senior Medical Student Alex Coutsoumpos to his service. Alex, pictured below on the right, was a natural for the job as he has been accepted into a General Surgery Residency at Loma Linda starting this summer.
We were also grateful to have 3 additional LLU medical students join us during our stay. Pictured below from L to R are Donald Whang, Jonathan Lio, and Jason Horinouchi.
When Donald and Jason arrived, the pediatricians had left leaving them as the primary caretakers of that department. Dr Bob reports that they have done an outstanding job.
When Dr Dan left early last week, Jonathan assumed the role of managing our storeroom as well as organizing communications and transportation. He also has performed in an exemplary fashion. We were constantly bombarding him with requests for obscure equipment and supplies. We were especially grateful that he got us all to the airport on time!
Posted on March 25th, 2010 No commentsGreetings from the Hopital. While we continue to see untreated earthquake related trauma from the Jan. 12 quake, we are functioning more like a hospital and less like a disaster response unit every day. We do still have approximately 40 patients outside in tents but, have the entire 2nd floor NE wing devoted to and filled with in-patients. The 1st floor SE wing is also filled with patients in our pre-op and two post-op rooms. At any point in time we are housing about 50 patients inside the main hospital and another 20 or so in the in-patient pediatrics and obstetrics wards in the polyclinic building. We continue to staff and support a very active 24x7 emergency room, as well as OB/GYN, Ortho, and Medicine clinics Monday - Friday. The operating room remains very busy averaging 15 surgical cases per day, 8 - 10 orthopedic/reconstructive, 2 - 3 OB, and the balance general surgical cases. The stream of volunteer medical staff continues to flow into the hospital here thanks to the efforts of our coordinating body at the LLU Global Health Institute.
On Wednesday morning seven of our translators–a group of handsome, strong young men–surprised us at our morning briefing by giving a heart-warming thank-you and tribute. They had it all planned and staged and even had made special wooden plaques that they gave to some of our long term volunteers. The plaques read, "Thank you for helping us in Haiti, together we move." The translators have been a God-send. They are always friendly and eager to help (and their help is much needed). Communication has been a big challenge, since the majority of volunteers speak neither french or creole fluently. Imagine 70 english-speaking volunteers trying to communicate with hundreds of patients, family members and the 100+ Haitian hospital staff on a daily basis–impossible without the devoted help of these really amazing guys.The O.R. translator team and Dr. ChandyThanks all around
Posted on March 19th, 2010 No commentsMy good friend Irene Naesse, a geography teacher at Orange Coast College (OCC) sent me the following email a little less than a month ago:
I am going to challenge my students to each bring in a coloring book and crayons to send to you in Haiti for the kids. I have about 300 students this semester....so that is a lot of crayolas!
Well about 10 days ago Irene delivered 4 Xerox copy-paper boxes full of coloring books and crayons to my house so my wife Laurel could bring them with her to Haiti this last weekend. While Laurel could not bring them all, she did pack a couple dozen books and crayon sets in with the medical supplies she carried in her luggage. The remaining coloring books and crayons will be carried in by other volunteers heading here over the next few months. Below are some pictures of the OCC coloring books bringing joy and healing to the kids of Haiti.
Merci beaucoup to Irene and the OCC Geography students.
Posted on March 17th, 2010 No commentsThe quality of the reconstructive surgical program we have today is a direct result of the collaboration with our partner CURE International. CURE is a christian organization that operates nearly a dozen teaching hospitals in developing nations around the world with a focus on surgical treatments for children with disabilities and deformities. Their experience in operating hospitals in the developing world and providing top quality care in challenging environments has been invaluable in our earthquake relief efforts. CURE has provided world renowned experts in reconstructive surgery to serve the needs of earthquake victims. We have developed a reputation in the country of Haiti as a tertiary referral center for a variety of complex orthopedic cases. CURE's Haiti Medical Director Dr. Scott Nelson is also a Loma Linda University School of Medicine clinical faculty and alum.
CURE has had an orthopedic program in Haiti for a number of years prior to January's earthquake. The existence of this program pre-quake benefited us greatly by providing in-country knowledge, experience, and resources. CURE has provided invaluable logistical and supply resources such as:
L - R Phil Hudson, Dr. Nelson, Loubins Labiche
- In-country logistics coordinator (Mr. Phil Hudson)
- Air and ground transportation
- Shelving units
- Orthopedic surgical equipment
- Surgical nursing staff from their Dominican hospital
- Multiple international volunteer teams
- Volunteer coordination (Erin, Heather, Robbie)
THANK YOU CURE INTERNATIONAL for all of your help here at the Hopital Adventiste!
Posted on March 15th, 2010 No commentsMaranatha International is here with us at the hospital providing assistance in a couple of different ways. Back in early February Maranatha contacted LLU about the possibility of sending in some volunteers to provide boots on the ground assistance with our work at the hospital. On February 19th six Maranatha volunteers arrived at the hospital for a full six week stay to serve in anyway we needed them to. These six people have been the force behind the amazing transformation of our central supply from the piles of boxes and bags to the well organized HAH Depot Central.BeforeAfterL - R Marcello Martinez, Bob Chase, Ashleigh Cohen, Dan Patchin,Myrlene Honore (not pictured Marilyn Patchin)In addition to their work in the Depot Central, each of these volunteers has contributed in his or her own special way around the hospital. Ashleigh has served as our base camp manager and also doubles as a social worker helping to find orphans homes and debriefing volunteers on their departure dates. Myrlene has filled many gaps due to her Haitian background and language skills. Bob has used his carpentry skills to build a number of custom shelves in various rooms around the hospital. Marcello has taken on the responsibility for maintaining the oxygen supply in all departments of the hospital managing 16 D and E size bottles and 20 large M tanks. And Dan has served as the Supply Unit Leader for the operations committee.1 Day Church StructuresMaranatha has also sent in a team to build us 5 of their 1 Day Church Structures to be used anyway we see fit. The first of these has just been completed and is planned to be volunteer housing. Structures number 2 and 3 will be done shortly and will be used as volunteer housing and out patient pediatrics. 4 and 5 will go up next week and will provide shelter for urgent care/triage and an ER expansion.
Posted on March 11th, 2010 No commentsBy Dr. NelsonDisaster relief is typically one of the most inefficient uses of the donor’s dollar. Think about it. Premiums are paid to purchase last minute items, overnight deliveries are made, volunteers are buying last minute air tickets, and extra funds are used for security and support of volunteers in a situation where there is no infrastructure. Due to lack of communication, urgency, and constantly changing needs, heaps of materials arrive that are not always needed. We experienced all of this. (BTW the breast implants and total knee replacement parts that were sent down were not needed at any point during the disaster relief) When the relief efforts are over many of the expensive pieces of donated equipment sit idle, deteriorate or are scavenged. This is not to be critical, many of these factors are uncontrollable and the job has got to be done. It is just the nature of the situation.At the Hopital Adventiste we are doing a lot more than just disaster relief and because of this, your donations will have much more than just a transient effect. For a short period of time we were buried under the heaps of stuff that was generously provided. But, thanks to Dan and Marilyn Patchin from
as well as many other Haitian and American volunteers it is now well organized and we are working efficiently with the needed supplies to offer a top quality level of care to those we serve. The donor’s dollar is also multiplying as we take advantage of synergistic collaborations with other organizations who are interested in our vision for a long term program with the highest of standards. We were very fortunate to receive an autoclave from Hope Force International as well as a portable digital x-ray machine from Americares (see photos). Portland, ORWe thank these organizations for their generosity as well as each and every one of our donors who have generously given. Some of the ongoing weekly expenses that we are currently supporting are:
One time capital expenses include:
- Diesel $3000 for electricity
- Oxygen $600
- Transport of equipment and supplies $500
- X-ray film and envelopes $750
- Housekeeping, maintenance, & repair supplies $1000
- Lab supplies $500
In addition, payroll is about $42,000USD per month. All our services are currently offered for free. Without an income source this is not easy to come by, but we must pay our employees as they re integrate back into the workforce.We want to again thank all of you who have contributed. The challenges ahead are great. But with God’s guidance and power we continue to give our all and not get discouraged.
- Water main $4000
- Translator honorarium (30 people x 6 weeks) $2700
- Shelving $5000
- Generator parts $1000
- Repair of perimeter wall $5000