Thursday, May 13, 2010

"Lost Track of Days"

Dr. Mark Courtney is from Northwestern University and is representing the Chicago Medical response team with International Medical Corps in Haiti.

I've kind of lost track of days. It's Sunday. A large group of new doctors and nurses have arrived. That means a whole lot of the old people have left as of last night. We got a room for the 3 of us who deployed together. It's got a single gigantic king bed and smells like an ashtray but it's got a shower -- hallelujah! The shower I took this am was the second since I've been here.

Another improvement is the presence of Haitian staff. Hard to know who will be there at any given time and for how long but at least we are moving in the right direction for now. This is the major challenge during this transition time. We've introduced a very high level of care (by Haitian standards) and transitioning some (not all) of this will be the main work of the future.

There are great examples of excellent care being done exclusively by Haitian personnel. The pediatric feeding tent is a great example -- there are regular measured feedings of formula and measured daily weights and as a result, the kids getting better. One orphan was dropped off at our ED weeks and weeks ago by an aunt has since gained a kilogram. Came in at around 7 months and weighed 3.2 kg. That's about 7 lb. He's been in the feeding tent since then and doing well.

Another example is the TB program. Pretty much everyone gets oral observed medication (given and watched by an nurse). It’s supervised by Haitian nurses but single handedly lead by an Dr. Megan, who's down here on her own for who knows how long. She's essentially put her fellowship on hold to care for these patients.

I'm pretty tired now and eager to get some sleep. Worked the 10-7 swing shift. Am on at 7am tomorrow.

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1 comment:

Jim Wilentz said...

So that's the wonderful Dr. Megan Coffee, MGH trained ID whiz, now at UCSF, who has been working at the HUEH tirelessly and selflessly for many months now. I was there for a short stay as a cardiologist with Partners in Health in February and had great help from Megan in all respects. She is a total model for what we all should strive to be as docs!