Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Surgery Day 2...

Sunday morning.

Last night, Dr Deboer took a group of 8 out to a local restaurant, "Los Heroes"'. They failed to take anyone with them that spoke Spanish. After ordering by pointing at various lines of Spanish in the menu, they ended up with mountains of food. Fortunately, they had our fellow Dr Jake Stanfield along. He willingly accepted the challenge of leaving no taco uneaten.  Plates were cleaned and everyone returned to get ready for day 2.

For day 2 we had 4 patients scheduled. Two were second side surgeries and two were first side. We got off to a later start due to difficult to insert spinals. Once started tho, things went smoothly. We ran 2 rooms. I was in one room with Dr Amador and Dr DeBoer was in the other room with Dr Stanfield.
It has been nice to get to operate with Dr Amador again. Since completing his fellowship with us in Nashville, he has been our man on the ground in Veracruz. We are all very proud of what he has accomplished here. His help in organizing the preoperative and postoperative patient clinics has been immeasurable. He is involved in teaching the ortho residents here at the hospital and is building a busy practice.

Our last case had to be canceled due to problems with instrument sterilization. This is always a problem, and with limited back up instruments it was not possible to fit in the last case. 3 years ago a great supporter of WalkStrong donated a newly refurbished steam sterilizer to the hospital. It has dramatically reduced our sterile instrument problems. It has increased the quality of care for the entire hospital since it is used all year round. Carlos is always scavenging replacement parts that are used to keep it in good working order. Due the hard work of all, our sterile instrument standards in Veracruz are the same as they are in Nashville.

The patient's surgery was moved to first case tomorrow.
The patients from yesterday have done fantastic. They are working hard on their motion and are walking down the hallway. No issues!!!
Four cases scheduled again for tomorrow.

M J Christie MD

Monday, October 26, 2015

First day back in the OR.....

Our first day in the OR went great. Three knee replacements, three happy patients.  All were second side surgeries in patients who have waited without complaint for over a year. They did well, all up the night of surgery with the guidance of Maleesa our Physical Therapist and our unit nurses, sisters Amanda and Katie. The afternoon brought the welcome return of two Veracruz ortho nurses Lilianna and Cielo to the 4th floor patient unit. They are well known to us from previous surgical trips. They know the WalkStrong patient protocols well and have been enormously helpful getting patients ready for surgery and caring for them afterwards.

We have a much smaller crew of people with us this trip(20 instead of 30) so many are performing tasks outside their normal roles. (Of course that is the norm for mission projects isn't it?!!!). Not surprisingly, given this amazing group of people, everything has gone smoothly.  Tomorrow we have 4 patients scheduled. I'll let you know how it goes:-)


Katie with Liliana and the other Ortho floor nurses. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Walk strong is Back!!!

WalkStrong is back in Veracruz! Our advance team has been here for a week, working to get the surgical suites ready, the instruments prepared and the supplies sorted and assembled.
It's been hot work! While the air conditioning has been fixed down in the ORs, it is not working up on the patient unit where our main storage and work areas are. Once the equipment was retrieved and sorted, the instruments were checked and wrapped. Carlos Castillo from our team has been hard at work getting the steam sterilizers up to standards , replacing seals and supervising the maintaince crews. 

The major part of the team arrived Thursday and focused on getting the wards ready for the patients and organizing the supplies for the cases.
We saw 6 patients in preop clinic, following up on consultations requested when we were here a month ago. All but one were ready for surgery this week.
Our plan, 12 to 16 surgeries starting on Saturday.
Everyone got back to the hotel early for dinner and to bed (except Carlos and Derrick Allison, who worked past midnight getting sterile instrument sets ready for the OR.
It's great to be back!!!