Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Moving Story about one of the Team's Patients

The Cleveland team found this 6-year old girl who arrived at the HCH hospital accompanied by her aunt. Both her parents were killed in the earthquake. She was immediately prioritized and despite some concerns from other doctors, Dr. Fitzgerald assured Dr. Vanek that he could anesthetize the patient without issue. The Cleveland team were confident they could operate effectively. Their professionalism persevered over such an emotional case. Dr. Vanek successfully performed a fasciotomy and ulnar nerve decompression which means arm surgery. He also performed face and scalp surgery.

The team remained very close with this patient. They are confident the girl will recover and go on to live a long life. As you can see in the picture, tape was secured to the foreheads of post-op patients indicating what operating room they were treated in. Vanek and Fitzgerald worked out of OR 3. The tape allowed them to routinely check up on their own patients and occasionally replace the dressings, helping to ensure speedy recovery without infection. Although they may never hear from any of these patients again, they have great hope for their recoveries and were impressed with the New York team that replaced them.