Friday, March 4, 2016

A Time for Celebrations and Farewells.

The team has finished up the final day of surgeries. In our short time here, the CSI team performed 56 surgeries. This morning the surgeons made their final rounds and signed off to the local Urology and ENT Departments who will follow the children In the hospital for a few additional days, as is their typical protocol here. 

Vietnamese nurses providing follow-up care.

Dr. Yuri Reinberg, Urology.

Dr. Siva Chinnadurai examines a young patient. 
A few CSI team members toured different areas of the hospital during the course of the week, including the NICU, pediatric ICU and the emergency department. 

The CSI team has been honored to care for the families and children of the Thanh Hoa region this week. The children's sweet smiles and the grateful eyes of the parents make the work a pleasure. 

Adminstrators, surgeons, physicians and nurses from Thanh Hoa pediatric hospital invited the CSI team and our translators to a farewell gala to celebrate the week of collaborative work on behalf of the children. It was a festive night filled with friendship, laughter, toasting, speeches and, of course, Vietnamese karaoke!

Dr. Hung, Hospital Director, Tom Fansler, CSI board chair,
Father Joseph, and Dr. Hai, Hospital Vice Director.

Dr. Hung and Tom Fansler.
Dr. Hung, Hospital Director.

Ellen Reynolds, PNP, celebrates with hospital nurses and staff.

Drs. Petersson and Chinnadurai. ENT represents.
Here's a fine example of the karaoke, performed by Dr. David Vandersteen, urologist, left, and Leon Randall, biomedical support.

A special shout out goes to a very enthusiastic and dedicated team of translators who have been with us the entire week. 

Today was spent visiting a floating river village and Trang An, a national heritage park. Three generations live on this floating home. 

Celeste and Wyn fell in love with the youngest family member.

The children enjoyed dollies and bubbles.

The team will disperse tomorrow. Some head home to the U.S. while others extend their stay to explore Vietnam and Thailand. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Settling In and Enjoying Successes.

Jet lag, 12-hour workdays, exhaustion, and sometimes a rumbling stomach are "part of the deal" on a surgical mission. But what is so very wonderful is that every morning I wake up thinking about the kids we cared for yesterday, and remembering the smiles, the tears, the parents' expressions of hope, worry, and ultimately gratitude. I can't wait to get back to the hospital to see how the kids fared during the night. Did her labored breathing settle down, did he drink some fluids, did the bleeding stop, is her pain under control, did the parents get some rest? 

The weather has been beautiful this week, sunny and 75 degrees. The morning walk to the hospital is filled with the sights and sounds of the city. Walking into the bustling Thanh Hoa Pediatric Hospital gives us renewed energy. It's a large and very busy regional pediatric center, with 500 beds and currently about 800 patients. 

Today, the rhythm and flow of the CSI surgical day in Thanh Hoa were nice. The team members are all settling into their roles, finding their way around their work areas and the rest of the hospital, and getting to know their Vietnamese colleagues better. We are becoming more efficient and synchronized every day. 

The urology and ENT patients that are assigned to the CSI team stay with us in the Anesthesia Department for the first day and overnight. At that time they are transferred to their respective ENT and Urology Departments where they will be in the hospital for several more days. 

The surgeons, anesthesia and OR nurses (CSI and Vietnamese) have two cases going simultaneously in each room. With two ENT and two Urology surgeons with us, we are performing cleft lip and palate repairs, as well as the repair of a variety of urological abnormalities.  Some of these can be quite complicated and may require additional procedures in the future. 

Off to the last day of surgery. Stay tuned!

~ Linda Sedgwick

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Long days. Successful surgeries.

Tuesday, March 1 - A beautiful morning to start the day in Thanh Hoa. The teams are starting to hit their stride. We are seeing great collaboration and information sharing among our surgeons, pediatricians, anesthesiologists and nurses as they work a busy slate of urological and maxillofacial cases. The ENT team has been working through seven cases today, mostly cleft palates, and there has been an opportunity to work side-by-side sharing ideas and procedures with our Vietnam colleagues. 

The urological team had a rare epispadias case this afternoon, something which our surgeons had only seen five times in their 50 years of combined experience. It’s estimated to occur at a rate of 1 in 250,000. We were well-equipped, and working with our Vietnamese colleagues, the repair procedure went very well. During the day, anesthesiologists shared techniques on airway management and regional blocks. Pre-op and post-op nurses worked together on procedures and kept the whole system operating smoothly. The days are long, wrapping up around 8 p.m., but there has been strong engagement and support across the teams.

By Tom Fansler, CSI Board Chairman

Dr. Raj Petersson with a most grateful mother.

Jennifer Kreiman, RN, with Vietnamese ENT nurse and a happy family.

Our littlest patient of the week.

Drs. Yuri Reinberg and David Vandersteen.