Honduras: Day 1

Source: Blog Post

The line of patients waiting to be seen was already out the door as we pulled up in our Turismo bus. As we shuffled up the stairs we could see patients of all ages: some with bandages, some with deformities, but all with a look of hope as they greeted our team. Before clinic started, we unpacked our supplies and took inventory. Six large boxes of disposable supplies were waiting for us, shipped earlier for the first time via our partnership with Operation Smile. We worked quickly to unpack box after box of surgical instruments, anesthesia supplies, PPE, medications, dressings, and everything else we would need for the week. Thanks to a hardworking and enthusiastic team, we were able to get the majority of the work done setting up the ORs in just over an hour.

Patients filled the waiting room and lined up outside the hospital to be evaluated in clinic.

Surgical instruments were unpacked, categorized and organized as were the anesthesia supplies.

Celine Cantin, our hand therapist, had an impressive collection of colorful supplies for splint fabrication. Two Honduran physical therapy students assisted her and learned from her during the day in clinic.

Clinic was incredibly busy. In total, we saw 140 patients and filled up our OR schedule with cases for the week. With the help of local physicians and students serving as interpreters, we evaluated patients with complex conditions from congenital deformities and brachial plexus birth palsies to fracture malunions and traumatic brachial plexus injuries. The collaborative nature of the team and the clinic made it easy to discuss these challenging cases with colleagues and to determine the best plan for our patients. Additionally, patients from prior brigades were re-assessed, such as a young man who underwent prior excision of an extensive forearm vascular malformation and a child several years after a Hoffer transfer.

Dr. Leversedge expertly examining a child with a brachial plexus birth palsy.

A child with Poland’s syndrome and radioulnar synostosis for whom we are planning a radioulnar rotational osteotomy to improve the position of his limb.

Following our busy clinic, we made a trip to a boys orphanage and participated in the team’s customary soccer game with the children. Fortunately there were no injuries! After the game, we received a tour of the orphanage and ate pupusas with the children (with cervasas for the adults).

Action shot!

The crew after an exciting match, worn out and ready for pupusas and cervezas.

The day ended with a working dinner at the hotel in order to prepare for our first day of surgery tomorrow. We’re all incredibly excited for the cases and the week to come!