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Archive for July, 2008

One of Project Medishare’s founders, Dr. Arthur Fournier responded to the ABC Nightline special about sex trade in Haiti on The Huffington Post. Dr. Fournier speaks about the issues of this modern form of slavery. Project Medishare and The Global Institute at the University of Miami recognized the importance of addressing these root causes a decade ago and has been working to improve conditions in Haiti’s Central Plateau

Click here to see Dr. Arthur Fournier’s article on The Huffington Post regarding Dan Harris’ report on the sex trade in Haiti.

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Scrubbing into observe a prostate surgery, medical student Anya Li joins the surgeons with sunglasses. On the last day of surgery, the team ran out of the surgical masks with face shields so students wore sunglasses to keep their eyes protected. The surgical team completed 15 surgeries. Photo by Jennifer Browning.

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Nicholas George, 46, traveled to Hinche in hopes for a surgery that would remove his elephatiasis. George who has lived with his condition for 17 years was referred by Zanmi Lasante hospital in Cange. Photo by Jennifer Browning.

By Jennifer Browning

As he walked into the hospital there was something unusual people noticed about 46-year-old Nicholas George. Even clothed in long shorts, below the waste undeniably revealed a more than significant mass.

During the first day of clinic, Emory surgeons observed this severe case of elephantiasis, a condition George has carried with him for 17 years.

George said in the beginning he had an itching sensation in the groin area. Eventually his testicles began to grow. The growth continued a little each year until it reached its current weight. Thirty-five pounds.

With the weight, George said was not able to work.

“My 17-year-old son has been helping me, since it is difficult for me to do work,” he said.

According to general surgeon Dr. Jana MacLeod the operation is a difficult one due to the careful pre-operative planning and the time it takes to remove such a mass. George’s operation took most of the day lasting six and a half hours and required two surgeons, two medical students to assist, a scrub nurse, a circulation nurse and an anesthetist.

With the mass being removed, George’s quality of life will improve according to Dr. Viraj Master.

“He will be able to lead a more normal life by being able to work and walk easily and without pain,” Dr. Master said. “Almost as important, the stigma [of the obvious mass] will be removed.”

George said he wasn’t worried about the risk of surgery because he puts his faith in God.

“I feel blessed to be able to have this opportunity,” he said, “to be able to live, work…..to  provide for my family again.”

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Working late night in Hinche, Dr. Jana MacLeod along with Dr. Viraj Master work to remove a patient’s prostate, while medical students Josh Ziperstein and Rachel Webman observe. It took a combination of local support from the Hinche hospital staff, monetary and equipment donations to make the surgical trip a success. Photo by Jennifer Browning.

By Jennifer Browning

HINCHE, Haiti–As we tell the stories about the medical trips and the positive work the medical volunteers perform, sometimes we tend to leave out how the success of these trips are possible. For these medical trips, partnering universities like Emory University raise money and obtain donated equipment through medical companies as well as through fundraising activities and private donors.

The Emory medical students currently participating in this surgical trip raised $20,000 to begin to make this trip possible, while both Dr. Veraj Master and Dr. Jana MacLeod helped secure donated equipment.

Dr. Master contacted Covidien about the company donating an electrosurgical generator [cautery machine] for the surgical trip.

“You don’t need it,” Dr. Master said, “but it does allow you to do surgery safer, quicker, and with less bloodloss.”

Covidien donated $10,000 dollars worth of equipment, which included two cautery machines.

Gore Products, who specializes in mesh products, donated an estimated $15,000 which included equipment used for all types of hernia surgeries as well as suture equipment.

Emergency room Dr. Rick Spurlock said West Georgia Medical Center in LaGrange, GA also contributed a great deal to the surgical trip by donating 30 disposable cordless cautery pencils, twelve 24 french bladder irrigation catheters, and 12 bladder irrigations sets.  The urological surgeries would not have been possible without the bladder irrigation catheters and bladder irrigation sets.

But surgical trips can’t be a success on donated funds and equipment alone. Locally, the medical staff in Hinche has also been key to the success of the surgical trip. When irrigation fluid became low, Dr. Prince Son Son Pierre, Hinche’s head surgeon, made arrangements with the hospital in Cange to get more. Dr. Son Son Pierre also brought four nurses from Port-au-Prince to help with post-operative care.

“The actions of the hospital here in Hinche,” Dr. Jana MacLeod said, “showed us that [the staff] were locally invested in us being here.”

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Mathe Alie Bayard reaches for the sterile gauze as she assists the team with redressing a patient after surgery. Bayard recently finished nursing school in Port-au-Prince where she will officially graduate on Sunday. Photo by Jennifer Browning.

By Jennifer Browning

Before Mathe Alie Bayard donning her cap and gown at her nurse’s school, the Port-au-Prince nurse is already working for better health care in Haiti.

Bayard who was studied nursing at a private university in Port-au-Prince said she was excited for a different experience than what she might find in the Haiti’s capital.

“I was so excited when they asked me to come from Port-au-Prince to participate with the American doctors,” she said. “Each time I go out of the city, I always find cases that I wouldn’t normally find.”

She said that working with the Emory team gave her a chance to see how the American doctors treat their patients.

“It has been interesting to see how they practice medicine after the operations,” Bayard said. “I am seeing the way they accentuate their care for the patients, but also how they are quick and efficient.

Bayard will official graduate with her nursing class this Sunday, July 6.

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Emergency room Dr. Rick Spurlock and Emory medical student Anya Li prepare a patient for surgery. Photo by Jennifer Browning.

By Jennifer Browning

Hinche, HAITI–Although we are in Haiti’s central plateau far from most of the comforts we are familiar with in the U.S. We still have a little internet once in a while to upload and post photos for your viewing.

Check out images taken at the hospital in Hinche on Project Medishare’s photo gallery which is hosted by Flickr. Click here to go straight to the Emory surgical trip or click here to view photo sets from other medical trips.

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Valcourt Napoleon, 42, waits patiently the end of his bed in a ward in the Hinche Hospital. Emory doctors found Napoleon suffered from an enlarged prostate as well as a hernia. Photo by Jennifer Browning.

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Since the bladder retractor the Emory team planned to use was in a piece of lost luggage, Drs. Viraj Master and Jana MacLeod asked two medical students to scrub into surgery.

Since the bladder retractor the Emory team planned to use was in a piece of lost luggage, Drs. Viraj Master and Jana MacLeod asked two medical students to scrub into the prostatectomy surgery. Emory medical students Adam Carlisle and Rachel Webman helped pull the bladder back so the prostate could be in view for removal. Photos by Jennifer Browning.

By Jennifer Browning

Hinche, HAITI—Rising shortly after the sun, Emory’s surgical team began to organize their equipment in the operating room at the hospital in Hinche. The first thing they needed to determine was what supplies were missing from a bag that didn’t arrive.

An absent bag this time meant that a much needed bladder retractor was missing. So today during the first surgery Dr. Jana MacLeod asked third year medical student Rachel Webman and second year medical student Adam Carlisle to scrub in to help with the simple retro pubic prostatectomy.

“We used them as a bladder retractor to pull the bladder aside so the prostate could be in view,” Dr. MacLeod said. “It worked well because it allowed them to see pretty much everything we were doing.”

This was Webman’s first time scrubbing into the operating room.

“Nervous as all hell,” Webman said, “but it was great. I was hoping I was doing everything right. You don’t get to do that stuff when you are a second or third year medical student. You just don’t get your hands wet the same way. I never learned to retract before today.”

Webman said it was interesting to see the different resources that may or may not be available in a developing country.

“Being in surgery it was surprising the way [the doctors] deal with not having certain items that are so readily available in the United States,” Webman said. “And all the while Dr. Viraj Master and Dr. MacLeod were teaching us.”

The students attending from Emory University with the aid of Dr. Rick Spurlock raised $20,000 to make this surgical trip possible. Both Webman and Carlisle agree that their trip to Haiti with Emory and Project Medishare gives them experience they wouldn’t receive during this point and time of their education.
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