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Early to rise today

Friday, 04 July, 2014
Early to rise today

Early to rise today, which was a novelty for some of the junior members of the team, and after filling ourselves with breakfast made by our lovely and talented housekeeper, Freda, we headed into KCMC.

It became clear that there had been a major RTA in the morning, an all too frequent occurrence here nowadays. A bus had crashed and 50 people had been injured. We watched as they arrived in the backs of various forms of transport, with visibly broken limbs and cuts, masking worse injuries underneath.  Everyone was helping where they could but the stream of people was clearly stretching the resources of an A&E used to dealing with these unfortunate events. The wards, corridors and theatre were quickly swamped. Many patients were in need of orthopedic surgery for correction of fractures and diagnostic surgery that is not always available.

After the unrest of the morning we attended a meeting with the board of directors lead by the acting hospital director, Professor Olomi. There we learnt of its recent successes and the difficulties faced by the hospital despite limited resources. This was reiterated when we had our meeting with Sr Brenda, the new Matron, where we learnt about the successes of nursing training, but the limited number of beds compared to patients at KCMC.

After this we made our way to the medical school to see about arranging some teaching sessions and happened upon Dr Kondo giving ATLS-based trauma teaching (Advanced Trauma Life Support)for the 5th year medical students. They provide courses for their final years into trauma management and emergency medicine. We were able to sit in on Dr Kondo’s lecture and it was encouraging to see the students’ enthusiasm and their engagement.

In the afternoon we separated and some members of the team saw their first glimpse of the surgical ward where burns patients were treated. It was clear that there were many unfortunate stories and work to be done. Planning was set in place to source extra dressings and materials that were urgently required. The brand new burns unit is built, but not open yet, with staffing and access issues still to be resolved.

The rest of the team spent the afternoon observing the practical sessions given to students including emergency cricothyroidotomy and chest drain insertion on a goat. Despite their best efforts the goat did not pull through, but the medical students got some excellent practice and a tasty meal. 

The team as usual discussed and debriefed the day’s events over a meal in the evening.