The daily grind

My job here is not to provide direct care but to evaluate the care that is being provided. Each morning I observe medical rounds. They are brutally slow and there are a ton of sick patients. Some are in beds and some are on the floor. We have little in the way of equipment or medicine, and with most cases the plan is “continue what we are doing and hope for the best”.

Some noteworthy cases I observed include:

A 16 year-old woman delivered a baby in the bush. A “midwife” did an episiotomy but “forgot” to suture the wound. The patient then presented yesterday with an overwhelming blood infection that spread from her vaginal wound.

A 10 year-old boy fell off a motorcycle and was admitted four days ago for management of an enormous gash in his forehead that went around and below his right eye. The plan on rounds today was to suture him up (four days after the injury). I couldn’t just observe this one and told the team “no suturing because of the high risk of infection”.

A 60 year-old man had difficulty breathing. The doctor asked for a pulse. The nurse put her hand over the wrong part of the man’s wrist and quickly said “It’s 128”. I was skeptical and placed my fingers over his radial artery. His pulse was 90 and extremely irregular. He likely has atrial fibrillation that has not been picked up during his one week hospitalization.

The staff here are dedicated but overworked and undertrained. The care is borderline horrible and is depressing to watch.

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One Response to “The daily grind”

  1. Lisa Says:

    Wow. Those are some more crazy stories to add to the list. Pretty sad.

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