Monday was a very busy and difficult day with a very busy clinic and surgery schedule. At 8 am the benches and waiting areas were overflowing with patients waiting to be seen. Surgically we completed skin grafts on a young child and did 5 other cases mainly involving infected hardware.
We admitted 2 more infected hardware patients for surgery today including a failed gastric flap with exposed tibial plates. Another patient that was seen has a healed though badly displaced tibial plateau fracture. I think this could only be treated with a knee fusion or a total knee in a developed country. She’s unable to walk currently.
We were suprised by 2 men carrying in a man with a fractured spine who was hit by a car yesterday. He has a T12 burst fracture and is now paralyzed. We were unable to provide surgical care for this and finding appropriate places to send him is proving to be difficult.
One thing I’ve noticed is that the patients with chronic infections and unresolved Orthopaedic injuries are understandably depressed and appear shell shocked. These people had nothing before the earthquake and now even their ability to walk or do daily activities has been taken from them. We are doing the best we can to help them but we wish we could just make it all go away. The sad part is that we can’t.