Saturday, November 20, 2010

Reflections on the First Week in Can Tho

Today is a day of needed rest. The screening days were tough. There were scores of new patients who required the whole team for evaluation and management. Some patients from previous trips returned to show us their outcomes, which were uniformly excellent.

Imagine a small non-airconditioned room with: 
  • 4 International Extremity Project (IEP) doctors
  • 2 IEP residents
  • 1 Vietnamese doctor
  • 1 Vietnamese resident
  • 3 Vietnamese students
  • our IEP nurses and their local nurses
But wait, there's more! Then add in the patient and family, which number at least three more people for each evaluation. Two full days of working in the sauna was tiring.

Since we were here last, they've built a new hospital in Can Tho. The new hospital's operating rooms are nice and the operations have gone smoothly. We have done at least 18 surgeries in the last three days. The patients are recovering well, two to a bed, and have their pain controlled. We have had to remove a couple of casts because they were too tight.

We are all working well together--both new and old IEP team members. I am especially proud of the residents, Jane and Diane. They are taking on a lot of responsibility and following through just perfectly. 

The team is tired but looking forward to next week. ~Bruce Lehnert

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