Wednesday, March 5, 2008

This and That Medical Stuff

I was on call last night and ended up in surgery for a majority of the night, and then clinic all day today. Therefore, please excuse all typos and grammatical errors.

We are dangerously low in our supply of anti-snake venom. We were able to obtain 15 vials from Tamale, but we've been averaging 2-4 snakebites a night. We could use some prayer that we get more fast. We are forced to space out when people can get venom.

Today I saw another side effect of snakebites. A boy was discharged 10 days ago with a snakebite, he had a laceration on his finger, that he didn't take care of. He had the nastiest finger today in clinic, it was amputated this afternoon. I was unfortunately involved with debriding a leg at the time, so I didn't get to do the amputation myself.

I also saw an ainhum today. Yeah, what is that? I had NO CLUE! Thankfully, Dr. Faile did! It's another one of those, you only see it in Africa things. Basically the guy came in complaining of pain in his pinky toe. I look at his toe, and it literally looked like someone had tied black thread around his toe really tight. It was this fibrotic ring that formed, they think from some infectious origin, but the only cure is amputation (it was amputation day in clinic for me, which is a nice change, I have been stuck with alot of male genitalia cases). It was already getting necrotic. He was supposed to have it amputated this afternoon, but he didn't show up.

We also have been getting a rash of cerebral spinal meningitis cases--they are scary sick! I've already had a few die on me. BUT I have learned how to do a lumbar puncture myself, where you stick a big needle into the spinal canal to see if the fluid is infected. My first one was on this 3 year old in the middle of the night, I'm not sure who came out more traumatized, me or the child--I think it was me.

I'm off for some much needed rest!


Anonymous said...

Will you be doing amputations and such in the states or is that a surgeon thing here?

Anonymous said...

Glad to see that you are having a great time there in Nalerigu. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

Anonymous said...

hey lady
Sounds like such an amazing experience. Glad you havent' had any interactions with those snakes..stay away. Can't wait to see more pics and hear more stories at graduation. Stay safe

Anonymous said...

I am a relativly new math teacher at High Point. Wow! I think I'll pass on your blog to my freshman algebra classes the next time the complain about working too hard.

LJL said...

Hi Biffy,
Your mother gave me the link to your blog and I'm truly enjoying reading about your adventures. I wish you continued luck, health, safety and success while you are there.
Lorie Laux (your parents are neighbors to my parents).

ESK123 said...

Of course I know who you are Laurie! Thank you for posting!

Tanya--I'm trying to post pictures, but the internet here isn't always cooperative! i can't wait to see you at graduation!!!!