Dr. de Ramos doing clinical care on a child

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One of our first patients of the day was a 64-year-old woman who had severe abdominal pain, low blood pressure and had passed out earlier that morning. Our doctors thought she had an acute abdominal infection that caused her to be hypotensive. We started an IV on her, gave her IV antibiotics and started her on a regiment of oral antibiotics to treat acute diverticulitis. The local doctor was brought to her bedside and was advised the patient may be having an impacted gallstone or an infection, and emergent follow up care was arranged. Her daughter was crying, and she hugged the doctors and thanked them for taking care of her. She said we did more for her mother in the hour she was at the clinic than what the local hospital has done for her.

We also took care of a man with a pulse of 36. His blood pressure was normal, and we didn't have any of the normal interventions here, so there was little we could do except send him for follow up care with the local doctor. What he really wanted from us was an injection for his bad knee! We addressed the osteoarthritis for his knee and advised him to seek further care for the dizziness he was feeling because of his low heart rate. This was a good learning experience for our residents, as they saw firsthand how devastating the limitations and access to health care can be.

For the week, we saw 1,828 patients, did 30 joint injections and filled 4,810 prescriptions. "We started the week as 36 strangers and in five short days, we became family," said Dr. Rema Johnson. "We took care of the people here and we took care of each other. That's God at work. The gifts we brought to the country in our service is returned a hundred times in each of our hearts with this experience."

After understanding our mission, the hotel staff asked one of our residents if our team would be willing to provide medical care to the staff and their families. He recruited the other residents and the rest of our team joined in. This morning, on our day of rest, a mini clinic was held in the hotel lobby. Some of the patients were vendors — they sell shrimp to the local hotels. They left home at 5 am, sold their shrimp for the day and the hotel staff invited them to come to our clinic.

This is my last post for the week. Thank you to all our family, friends and colleagues for your support in holding things down for us at work and home. We appreciate your support! We will see you again tomorrow!

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