Day 2: Student Reflection and more…

From Nicole:

Nicole and Kelsey in the OR

Nicole and Kelsey in the OR

At 2pm, Kelsey and I went with Dr. Simpson to watch the neurosurgery. We had to wear scrubs, a hairnet, a face mask, and croc-like shoes into the operating room (OR). The surgery that we got to watch was of a 4-month old baby boy, who had a fused skull. Skulls of babies are not supposed to fuse together until later in life so the brain can grow. That’s why they have soft spots on their heads. We got to watch from about 3 or 4 feet away as the 3 surgeons (a visiting resident from Canada, a doctor from Ohio, and a surgeon employed by Beit Cure) broke apart the front and top of the skull into about 9 or so pieces and screwed in small, flexible metal rods about 1/2 inch apart to hold the bones in place. It will take a year or more for the bones of the skull to grow in the empty spots and heal. The OR was very different from an OR in the US. One of the surgeons was talking with us about Benjamin Franklin and Abe Lincoln during the surgery, they took phone calls during the surgery, and people were constantly going in and out of the OR. We didn’t even have to wear gloves while observing. Sterilization is definitely not like it is in the US. At the end of the surgery, while the doctors were putting in sutures, the power went off for about 30 seconds, although, the anesthesiologist’s equipment stayed running due to a backup generator. The surgeons just waited for the power to come back on because power outages are common in Zambia. To them, it was just a normal day in the OR. After the doctors sutured and bandaged the baby’s head, they put a piece of tape on the bandage that said “Don’t push” because part of the baby’s brain was not protected by the skull. The surgery took a total of around 6 hours to complete, so it was really neat that we got to see the surgery wrap up. Being in the OR was an incredible experience and I don’t think I will ever get an opportunity like this again. It goes on my list of the top 3 coolest things I have seen/done. It’s it so surreal to think that I watched brain surgery today. – Nicole

More pics from Day 2:

Lars giving us the tour of the hospital

Lars giving us the tour of the hospital

Kelsey and Elizabeth in the ward

Kelsey and Elizabeth in the ward

Mel, Jordan and Jenn in the OR

Mel, Jordan and Jenn in the OR

Kate, Erikka and Elijah in the kitchen

Kate, Erikka and Elijah in the kitchen

Anyea and Emily in the laundry

Anyea and Emily in the laundry

Nicole and Megan in physiotherapy

Nicole and Megan in physiotherapy

Kate and Mel with her guitar in the ward

Kate and Mel with her guitar in the ward

 

 

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. sibks
    May 21, 2013 @ 01:43:14

    What a truly remarkable story about being in the operating room! So nice to see all of you in the photos! Have a great day tomorrow. all the best~Kathy and Steve

    Reply

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