Friday Night Call

Sequence of events while on call Friday night.

  1. Receive a call stating that there is an ambulance at the gate that has nearly run out of oxygen while transporting an intubated baby from Abancay to Cuzco (around a 5 hour trip for this ambulance).
  2. Call the people in charge to be sure that we can give oxygen.  We can provide oxygen and we are able to fill the empty bottles in the ambulance.
  3. Start heading down to the hospital to understand better what is going on and what we need to do to accomplish the task at hand.
  4. On arrival to the hospital, I see Dr. Martina John’s car (why is she here?) and the ambulance with a big crowd of people around it.  As I walk in I see Dr. Tina inside the ambulance working around the incubator.
  5. I learn that somehow the baby became extubated while outside our hospital by accident.  Tina was called urgently while I was on my way down to intubate the baby.  (I am so glad she is there!)
  6. I learn that apparently not only are they low on oxygen, but also the battery that is going to run the ventilator and the I.V. infusions is dead.
  7. Our mechanical crew works hard to fix their electrical system, but they are without success.  We just do not have the tools to fix this problem.
  8. Meanwhile, the doctor that is accompanying this transfer takes a little break in the cab of the ambulance to breastfeed her baby that she has brought with her during this trip.  Yes she is working with her baby while breastfeeding!
  9. Because we cannot fix the electrical system, this baby will have to ventilated by hand during the rest of the trip on a very curvy, bumpy road.  Yet they have to go because the baby has a diaphragmatic hernia we cannot keep him and the only option is to continue on to Cuzco.
  10. The ambulance leaves, with the doctor ventilating the sick newborn while her baby rides in the front in the arms of one of the hospital staff in the front seat.  We all head home, some to rest, some at the end of their shift, me to pack a bag to come back to the hospital to spend the night since I have the emergency call.

3 thoughts on “Friday Night Call

  1. Prayers for the baby and her family. Prayers for the doctors no matter the outcome and for their families that serve with them. Prayers for you as you deal with issues like this in a world that doesn’t have all the tools.

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  2. Pingback: 2014 Blog in Review | cairesinperu

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