Monday 2-4-19: A full day of surgeries

Today is a “full power” day.

The team starts early and heads out to the hospital after a joint 6:30 breakfast & briefing. We have 7 surgical interventions under general anesthesia in our two operating rooms and 4 procedures in the dental clinic on the list.

There are two little patients on the list who are only 2 and 3 months of age and are both undergoing a cleft lip repair: Esmailin and Isaias – he actually came with his parents all the way from Mexico to us after they heard through contacts in the US about the mission. Interesting how information flows at times.

The challenge with those very young babies is, as alluded to earlier, not really the surgery itself but anesthesia and we were all asked to stay out of the ORs while those two little ones are going under and brought out of it, so that the anesthesia team can stay 100% focused. For those of you not so familiar with matters I use the analogy of flying and airplane where take off and landing are the challenging parts, but not so much the cruise between destinations. In this analogy: All landed well, and you can see the expression of relief and pride as John, our anesthesia resident, is carrying little Esmailin after the procedure to the recovery room where Erin and Laura are ready to take care of him and where he is soon after reunited with mum.

Surgeries continue as the temperatures are rising not only outside but also in our operating rooms.

Dr. Dan is performing a tonsillectomy on an 11 yr old girl and is soon thereafter helping Dr. Brian with the cleft lip of little Isaias. The only reason sweat is NOT dripping in the surgical field is because of the attentiveness of OR nurse Deb who is vigilantly swiping of sweat drops from noses and brows of both surgeons. There is even a “brief moment of bromance” where Drs. Dan and Brian have to be dried off with the same tissue…

I am always amazed how calm and focused everybody remains – all that matters is the little patient and I am stressing this because I have been observing surgeries with much much less professional teams.

Talking “team spirit”: Did I mention that Rae Jean is overly happy because she got the steam sterilizer up to pressure and finally running ? Take that “Deflate-Gate-Patriots”! Adios to carrying trays through the streets of Huehuetenango!


Leave a Reply