-Tom HanksUS movie actor (1956 - )
Today when I got to the clinic not much was going on in the ER so I headed upstairs. I saw that the Orthopedist and was about to start his rounds so I decided to accompany him. I am not sure if the patients were just covered by sheets the entire time, but I never really had never appreciated how serious their wounds really were. Seeing all of their injuries today really took me by surprise. The hospital has only one Orthopedist and he has to manage patients that get sent from all throughout Afghanistan. The vast majority of the patients sustained war-type injuries. I do not mean be insensitive in any way, but it really felt like I was walking through a Hollywood movie set. The injuries that these people had were just horrific. The were the result of rockets, large caliber bullets, and large explosions. The patients were all very young too.
The first patient that we saw had an amputated foot and an external fixator over both legs to repair extensive fractures. The next patient had a deep gaping hole, the size of a grape fruit, over his right buttock. There was a smaller entrance wound over his right groin. The next patient and an extensive compound fractures over his right lower leg. When the Ortho doctor approached the patient he removed a small piece of gauze that covered his wound. A piece of bone fragment the size of a quarter could be seen protruding from the wound. He removed the piece of bone and discarded it in the trash and then his assistant covered it back up with gauze. The Ortho doc said that he did not have any more external fixators to repair his fracture. I asked why he did not have a cast on his leg and he said that he was still waiting for the edema (swelling) to go down. The next patient was completely missing his left arm and an eye. The next patient was partially paralyzed from a gun shot wound to his spinal cord. His foley catheter was lying on the floor. There was patient after another with similar injuries. I asked the Orthopedist how many of his patients were in the hospital and he replied, "18. "When I told him that it was a lot he smiled and replied, "That that is nothing, I had 120 patients in the old hospital."
As I was walking out of the room I saw a patient lying on a plastic mattress without a sheet. I asked the head nurse why he did not have a sheet. He told me that the patient had gone to the bathroom 3 times in his bed already and they were not going to give him any more sheets. I felt bad because the patient was incontinent from his injury which made him partially paralyzed. All I could do was just take it it all in.
I went back down to the ER for a little lighter atmosphere. The ER doctor and the PA were there. They are always in a good mood and we always joke with each other. I wish that I could play a recording of the PAs laugh. It is so funny. It sounds like a high pitch squeal. It is the kind of laugh that triggers laughter from others. The PA invited me to visit his apple orchard. He says that he owns 9 acres of land.
Look what they did to their medication dispenser. Each drawer has a different liquid in it- hydrogen peroxide, saline, betadine, and alcohol. I tried to explain to them that it probably is not the best idea, but what can you do.
I visited the lab and it was almost like going through a time warp. Take a look at some of these reagents. They do all of their labs by hand. I am not sure if you realize but in the states most clinics and hospitals used large automated machines to do their labs. It was like visiting a chemistry lab. They had all kinds of reagents: Thymol, Urea, Copper, Sulfuric Acid, Calcium Carbonate, probably every element in the periodic table. I am so curious what they do with Copper. I will just have to ask them next time I am there.
A friend of mine was sent a talking parrot. Take a look. It is the perfect pet. You never have to clean or feed it.