Medical Mission in Vietnam: Surgeries, Day 5

Chau explaining how to use crutches to a patient.Wednesday the 8th was our fifth and final day of surgery. We opened up a third operating room so we could complete procedures on seven patients in the first half of the day. These eight patients brought us to a total of 38 patients treated over five days. Wednesday's patients included:
  • 13-year-old boy: soft-tissue procedure
  • 16-year old boy: soft-tissue procedure
  • 30-year-old woman: bony procedure
  • 34-year-old woman: bony procedure
  • 35-year-old man: bony procedure
  • 51-year-old man: bony procedure
  • 58-year-old man: soft-tissue procedure
For three of the day's patients, the team was correcting deformities secondary to polio. Sadly, polio has life-long consequences, including muscle atrophy and weakness that progress over the patient's lifetime. Most of our affected patients were in their 30s and 40s.

Polio was not eliminated in Vietnam until 2000. Because many areas are very rural, reaching the entire population for vaccination was not simple. The World Health Organization continues to refine polio vaccination protocols to prevent the virus variants that still exist in some parts of the world from reaching and gaining a foothold in countries where it has been eliminated.

My very low-tech record-keeping to track surgery progress.Here's what my super-fancy record keeping looks like for those daily (hourly?!) questions of "How many surgeries have we done so far?" and "What kinds of procedures have we done." Trust me, the spreadsheets have a lot more detail, but if the wireless goes out -- I need quick answers :-)