Monday in Xela ~ April 7, 2008 ~ Screening Day

With no opportunity to set up supplies & equipment on Sunday afternoon, the Iowa team rose extra early and trekked along the bustling street filled with hurtling, colorful, crowded buses, vans & other vehicles spewing diesel fumes, then up over the pedestrian overpass, past tortilla stands, and through the hospital grounds gates and a maze of hospital corridors to set up for a long day of screening candidates for cleft lip/palate and dental surgeries.

A quiet crowd of intensely hopeful parents & their mostly smiling children, as well as a few adults seeking surgery, waited patiently in the lobby. But then, they began lining up, pushing insistently toward the door of the intake office, as the team worked quickly to set up the records and medical equipment needed for screening.

Then all was ready for the patients to be 1) charted, 2) examined by the surgical team to see if they would be candidates for cleft lip/palate surgery, and if they were, to be assessed by the 3) anesthesiology team. All the children, whether or not they were candidates for surgery, received examinations by the 4) pediatricians and 5) dentists. Support staff, including the vitally-needed translators, positioned themselves with the medical teams. Others on the Iowa Miles of Smiles Team worked throughout the day getting supplies, equipment and rooms ready for the upcoming days of surgery.

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