Do no harm? It’s something that doesn’t exist in this hospital, and its so emotionally draining everyday to go to this hospital and see the things that are going on. Everyday we have to deal with the fact that there is nothing we can do. I don’t even know where to begin, should I start with the incompetent doctors, the lack of proper care, the filthiness of the hospital, the treatment of the patients, or the lack of basic medical supplies? I think it would be easier to list everything:
-Trey saw a surgery where they used the same scalpel for multiple cuts, so for the entire procedure which was on both the hip and the arm, the same unsterile blade was used… and on top of that there were flies in the surgical theatre
-Yesterday when a group went late to the hospital there was a young boy in the emergency room that no one saw, there were doctors in the emergency room working with a few other patients around, but no one even bothered to help him. He died.
-Natalie was holding a baby that could barely breath, and no one was doing anything when her oxygen levels dipped down. This morning the baby wasn’t in the pediatric ward, which means most likely she didn’t make it.
-I witnessed a stillbirth today and they treated the baby just like the rag they wrapped it in. They flopped the baby onto the mom’s stomach before taking it to another room and placing it off to the side on a SHELF, when we asked the midwife where the baby was she said that’s where they put the ones that don’t make it.
-When a man needed a wound stitched up they had ran out of suture kits, and more were in a cupboard that was locked, we asked to get it unlocked but they said the person with the key had gone home. And that was it.
-A man from the Massai tribe came in last night with a gash on his forehead, and the nurses lied to him and said they were out of suture kits; he was still there this afternoon, untreated. Just because he was in a different tribe
-Chris was helping a man replace a catheter, and the man was in a lot of pain so he went as slow and gentle as he could, when the doctor came to look over his shoulder she just grabbed the tube and yanked it out.
-There was a 2 year old that came into the minor theatre that had ingrown sutures on his finger, so some of the skin on the tip of his finger had to be cut off, the intern Lee and Chris were with wanted to almost amputate the tip of his finger before Lee stopped him, keep in mind this child had no pain killers or lidocaine.
-There is a “suggestion box” at the front of the hospital….really now?
These are just a few of the stories that I can remember. It’s hard to leave the hospital everyday knowing that we are leaving people that we cannot help.
What made my day today was in maternity, there was a couple babies that had been born earlier in the morning, and my friend Sonnie back home had made some adorable little knit baby hats. I went to ask the mothers if I could place them on their babies heads and they were sooo incredibly grateful, their faces lit up with huge smiles and couldn’t stop thanking me, one mother was very good at english and we stayed chatting with her in her room for a while. She was such a sweetheart and was telling us how glad she was to hear her baby was okay and healthy. the next mother I asked didn’t speak that much english but I didn’t need to know swahili to be able to tell that she absolutely loved it.
The last day has been really tough, the extreme poverty and messed up healthcare system is really hard to deal with. But every time I see a patient like the mothers this morning, I look forward to helping the next person who needs it.