Peru · 5 Days · 6 Moments · January 2019

GO-MED Peru 2019


29 January 2019

I spent some time sorting and labeling the carts we have available for our anesthetic work station. Nothing better than an OCD Anesthesiologist! We needed lubricating jelly for airway equipment....and this is what they found and the store for us! Scrubbing and gowning is hot in these OR's when we lack our usual climate control! Once the surgeries are done for the day, there is still a team who stays behind to make sure everyone is safely recovered and handed over to the night nurse. Here is our "night shift" team, home after sunset and relaxing with a cerveza before a late dinner!
It has been a long and very exhausting last few days! We seem to have hit our stride and we are functioning pretty smoothly, with fewer hiccups every day. The first photo is the poster which advertises our mission. Many of our patients have heard about us through word of mouth, TV, Facebook and from previous patients treated by GO-MED. The park across the street looks clean and tidy, but we are not permitted to leave the hospital even to go buy an ice cream in the park. We have been told that one of the major industries in Trujillo is kidnapping and extortion of foreigners. The clock is new, for the Recovery Nurses to monitor respiratory rates. No hooks, so we took a page from Red Green's book!

28 January 2019

We had a rocky start to the morning. We had a number of delays due to sterilization concerns, drugs not arriving, communication issues. We started our first Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy at 1130! There were some moments of concern with an anesthetic machine failure. 4 anesthesiologists and a surgeon as well as a facetime call to a biomed technician in town, we sorted out the problem, while we hand ventilated the patient. It made me grateful for my training, preparing me for this exact scenario. I spent the afternoon screening and re-evaluating patients, and helping to ensure that tomorrow's slate is adequately prepared. Ricardo has perfected his OR whiteboard. Our poop approved toilet has been confirmed...in the case of a back up, it won't compromise our access to the OR!

27 January 2019

A very chaotic but productive day today! Our potential patients were kept organized by Ricardo and Adriana, with the help of local staff. Patients would then be seen by a full team, surgeon, anesthesiologist and interpreters at the same time, and cleared for surgery as appropriate. (No pics for patient privacy!) The OR team started unpacking and 'building' our operating and recovery rooms, nearly from scratch! A pharmacy was created. The patient care areas were designed. Equipment was found, assembled and sterilized for use. We saw almost 40 patients today, and we have full OR slates booked for tomorrow. Many of these patients have waited a long time, and it was devastating to have to tell some people that they are not well enough for surgery. We have to be cognizant that we are only here for 2 weeks, and high risk patients will not have adequate access to affordable ongoing medical care if they have complications. (All photo creds to Seema!)

26 January 2019

Today was a touring day for most of the GO-MED team. We had an amazing Guide in Carlos (and put our translators through a workout!)of the Chan Chan Archaeological site. We learned about the pre-Incan civilizations, the Moche and the Chimo. The traditional fishing boat of the Chimo is pictured, and these vessels continue to line the shores in Huanchaco! Our tour took us through the ruins of one palace, there are 9 more! Our last stop was the view out over Haunchaco from the church. Tomorrow will be a busy day, as the OR team unpacks and sets up our surgical suite, and the docs start screening patients to book for surgery! We are all anxious to get to work!

25 January 2019

After a long journey from Western Canada, we arrived in Lima to clear customs as a group. GO-MED (Global Outreach-Medical Educational Destinations) carried all of our medical and surgical supplies and medications for a 2 week surgical outreach mission. All of those boxes and people wedged ourselves into this luxury coach, and by 2am local time we were on the road for our 10 hour trek from Lima to Huanchaco. Our first sunset in Peru, Pisco Sours in hand and ready to get to work with this awesome cast of characters!