Wednesday, June 30th, 2010
This morning, Jess, Beth and I arrived at the hospital to observe some surgeries- since Wednesdays are popular surgery days. We first went into the surgery ward to see what was booked for this morning, and of course there was nothing booked, but nothing is ever booked or reserved in Ghana, people just come as they please and the doctors show up whenever they want- seems like a nice stress-free life.
Nevertheless, we waited about an hour and a half at the surgery ward to see if there would be any emergency c-sections or anything like that, but nothing came in. Although we did not see any surgeries this morning, we still got to talk with the head surgical nurse for quite a while to gain some valuable information on surgeries at this hospital and in Ghana, and also got to know how she became a surgical nurse. It was interesting to learn how relaxing the surgery ward here is. She said that usually Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays are surgery days. There are hardly ever any surgeries booked, but the male and female ward and the emergency ward tells the surgery ward whenever they need a surgery done that day. Normally, there is at least one c-section each day and another type of surgery, but some days there is nothing at all. It is so different compared to the surgery wards at the hospitals in the states where everything is booked way in advanced and there are always surgeries throughout the day.
After waiting a while for a surgery and talking with the head surgical nurse, we decided to stop by the male ward for a little bit. We got there just in time for vitals during the hourly rounds with Dr.Danoo and the nurses. In a room of about 20 male patients, there were two that I will never forget. The first, Atsu is his name- was suffering from severe malaria. Dr.Danoo stated that he had a fever of 103 for the past few days and has had severe stomach pain and nausea. I also clearly remember seeing his dark yellow eyes- jaundice. Dr.Danoo told the nurses to start another IV of some type of malaria medication. Hopefully Atsu will make it- he looked deathly ill, but the medication should hopefully work for him.
The second patient was an elderly man whose name I did not catch. He was lying in his bed on his stomach with only a small tee shirt on- everything else nude. His bottom was clearly visible with a large bandage on one of the cheeks. Dr.Danoo said that he came in yesterday from an accident he had. Supposedly, he was working on someone's yard cutting their grass with a machete (they don't use lawn mowers here, they use machetes) and his partner got a bit too close and accidentally hit his bottom, putting a big slice on one of the cheeks. So the nurses took off the bandaged to dress the wound and it sure was a deep slice he had there, must have been painful!
Even though I was not able to see a surgery today, I think I had a very productive day at the hospital. Tomorrow is Independence Day here so everything is closed in town. I think some friends and I will be going to Ho tomorrow- about a 2 hour drive from Hohoe.