Postcards from the Field - Papua New Guinea

Postmark: July 20, 2015

Postmark July 20, 2015

Early start, who has time for jetlag? Terryleen and I walked over to the hospital after a quick breakfast and started to set up our clinic. It was actually a good thing that the main hospital was closed because we were able to use the waiting area outside the OT for our exam room (with three places for exams and a place for photography). We stationed our counseling and preoperative area in the nearby pharmacy, and the patients were able to comfortably wait in the lobby of the hospital to be seen. Dr. Ben started in the OT with Dr. Maggie and was doing a case very 30-40 minutes. I bounced back and forth between preoperative evaluations and seeing new patients with Alison. As patients walked out of the OT, there was an absolute pandemonium in the waiting room as these patients walked out as if on red carpet reception in Hollywood. Everyone wanted to see their new eyelids. I was worried that the patients might have a lot of pain, or be uncomfortable, but our regimen of topical lidocaine crème, then bupivacaine/lidocaine helped them be very comfortable during and after the surgery. By the end of the day Alison and I saw 41 patients and Ben did 14 cases (8 patients) before the power started to falter and we took a break for dinner. After dinner the whole team headed down to the resource center to see the postop patients. We decided to give all of them an additional dose of tylenol, and for those who were more uncomfortable, we gave meloxicam. Overall, everyone was excited by the first day's developments!

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