Sunday, March 2, 2014

Guatemala tugging at our heart strings. (Our chicken heart that is)

It's only been half a day and our team has been hard at work troubleshooting and repairing a variety of devices in the MPSC operating rooms. But first, a little background, we drove a couple minutes from our hotel to the clinic which was rather hidden from the outside. It was in the middle of a lot of warehouse type buildings but in the inside we encountered a clean and organized clinic with several relatively sophisticated surgical suites. We soon learned that this is where a group of Vanderbilt ophthalmological surgeons performed 65 surgeries in 4 days. Perhaps I should repeat that, 65 surgeries on children in the span of 4 days!
Even though the building was surrounded by razor sharp barb wire, the inside was comfortable and inviting. After a quick tour of the facilities, the team got to work. Ally and Anna tested an anesthesia monitor for use in measuring ECG, temperature and blood pressure. Nate and Miranda opened up a patient vitals monitor in another operating room and tested its ECG and blood pressure readings. Casey and Sara performed surgery on some chicken meat. Just kidding. But they did test the functionality of a recently donated electrosurgical unit (ESU) by making some incisions on a chicken that our driver Israel helped us pick up at a local market.

I'm not sure how I feel about them being this happy after performing surgery on chicken meat.

We ate some pepian and jocon for lunch which wasn't as scary as it sounds. It was some delicious chicken with vegetables and rice. Afterwards we had a quick status meeting. I for one am impressed at all the work the group has done in only 3 hours!

Allow me to brag on them a little more:
  • Anna, Ally, Jake, and Mary Kate have successfully assessed the functionality of 3 anesthesia machines. In the future, surgeons and workers will be able to see the detailed notes and instructions our group members leave behind, read the manuals, and use the new cables and parts that we brought over from the states.
  • Several patient monitors have been tested by the rest of the group. All with formidable results.
  • Sara and Casey have verified the functionality of an electrosurgical unit (ESU).
  • Daniel has selflessly sacrificed himself to be tested on to assess the accuracy of the monitors.

Without him we'd be lost.

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