GUATEMALA: DAY THREE

Source: Blog Post

Screening day! This day is eventful and packed full of interesting people and cases each trip. The coordination is incredible with patients being led through 7 stations in an efficient manner.

We arrived at the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center and were greeted with a lineup of high-fives from the staff; everyone was motivated and ready to get going!

After a quick team meeting, everyone positioned themselves at their stations and the day began.

Though many patients traveled upwards of 6 hours from their homes, our nonmedical volunteers made the short wait during the pre-evaluation period fun by playing games and telling stories. When it was each patient’s turn, they started with an initial evaluation by Lynn Bassini, GHHF’s founder, who aptly and swiftly directed the patients to the most appropriate next station.

If the patients required intervention, they were either booked for hand therapy during the week or directed down the hall to see the surgical team. 

Many new patients were presented to the surgical team, but we also had a handful of patients return for staged procedures from the last mission. The breadth and complexity of conditions that patients presented with was striking!

Patients that were booked for surgery were asked to see the anesthesia team for a medical evaluation. For many of our patients, this serves either as one of the only times they have ever seen a doctor or one of many times they have seen doctors given their congenital conditions, so it is not uncommon for our team to diagnose other medical conditions or recommend preoperative treatments or consultations.

After a busy day, we planned out the surgical cases for the week. Patients traveling from far away were given local accommodations until their surgical date. All in all, Lynn screened 145 patients, 52 surgeries were booked and 78 patients were scheduled for hand therapy. What a week we were in store for!