PERU: DAY 7

Source: Blog Post

Day 7 - Setting up for mission trips has always been a challenge when working in a new country. The supply and nursing colleagues start preparing months in advance to brainstorm supply needs, all the -what ifs- are systematically thought through, and we find ourselves prepared for pretty much anything that can be thrown our way when working with another OR team from other countries. Peru was no exception. On the day we leave, we carry a binder we call THE BIBLE. This has our print outs of our supply manifests for TSA and customs, lists of our instrumentation, alphabetized lists of supplies, just pretty much the items that nursing and surgical techs will require to provide the best possible care for patients. 

Prior to leaving, we get permission and confirmation that the airlines will allow us to fly outside of the country with medical crates and duffle bags. For this trip in particular, we will leave the United States with 28 of them. Once the bags are checked in, we turn our concerns to the practices of Peruvian customs and arrange transport from the airport to either the hotel or hospital directly. This takes quite a bit of manpower.

Once we got to the hospital, we had to coordinate with the staff and available space to create a supply area and a way to sterilize instruments after use. To sterilize, we used a combination of our own sterilizer and the one in house. Luckily, everything came together with the incredible amount of help and understanding from the staff at the Instituto Nacional de Salud del Niño to make a successful, safe, and productive week of surgery!