Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday Evening Update

I'm doing well. Had nice soup and Swedish wheat crackers with lobster and shrimp out of a tube. We are getting a pizza tonight. Major score. $35 each.

We are working hard. I am very fortunate to have the skills that can help these people. It's been an education and I applaud the countless people here and back home that are rallying in such a disaster.

Monday Morning Update

We are operating on a 20-year old male with gangrene of the right leg. His family refuses amputation so we will debride his leg and treat him with antibiotics. [Debridement involves the surgical removal of dead or infected tissue to improve the healing potential of the remaining healthy tissue] We first reported on this patient on the blog's Sunday Afternoon Update. [editor's note 1/27: learned that the patient was wearing #23 for Cavalier Lebron James and is also a big fan of Shaq. Jack was impressed by what Dr. Vanek was able to accomplish and believes that under the care of the New York team still there, he has a very good chance of surviving.]

The "Swedish NY Times" just arrived and their photographer, Jorgen Hildebrandt, is taking some photos of the surgery. [Jorgen, who was born in Denmark, is a photojournalist who has lived in Asia and Yugoslavia, and now resides in Sweden] He works for a newspaper called "Expression" in Sweden. We are trying to get copies of his photos.

Jack also talks about Guunar, who he describes as the rugged, fearless naval officer in charge of the Sweden team.  He worked 9 years for NATO, planned the response to 9/11 in NYC, and now works for Star of Hope, where he has worked for the last 10 years.

Dr. Jack Lafontant, liaison to the Ministry of Health, is currently coordinating patient transfers between hospitals to make the best use of what space is available. This primarily includes the USNS Comfort, a U.S. Navy-owned floating clinic. In order to transfer critically ill patients to the well-equipped ship, other patients need to first be taken off the ship. This has involved a major logistical plan to bring more patient beds into the various hospitals/clinics.

Sunday Evening Update

Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division just walked over to my tent and checked up on us. They told us prisoners got loose and to beware of anyone wearing red bandannas. They are a gang. It sounds bad but I'm planning our exit with the Sweden team hopefully by helicopter out of this country. The conditions outside the hospital are not good.

We took care of a lot of patients today and there is much to be done tomorrow. This will go on a long time and the whole world is helping.

France has a huge team in charge of dressing wounds for people outside HCH hospital. We have more surgeons than ORs but we work together.  For example, an eye doctor and plastics doctor worked together to help a woman with severe eyelid, nose and facial trauma. Paul Vanek did an amazing job on that woman just a few hours ago.

Sticking with team Sweden.