Thursday, June 17, 2010

My favorite part pictures. I don't think any of them are that bad but I know some people can't handle even walking into a hospital. So just telling you in advance...

My favorite part of the trip was going to the hospital and seeing how the hospitals in Ecuador differ from the U.S. We went to a county hospital which is where the poor people go. From my understanding, there are really nice hospitals in Ecuador but you have to have money to go to them.

In Ecuador, the streets outside the hospitals are lined with pharmacies. If the patient needs medicine, even in the middle of surgery, it is the responsibility of the patient's family to go across the street and buy the medicine from one of the many pharmacies.

Most of the regular rooms in this hospital had 6 beds to a room with no privacy between beds. The patient to nurse ratio at this hospital was 2 nurses to 50 patients. The ratio gets worse at night becuase most of the nurses go home.

The patient's family stays with the patient in the hospital and really are their main caretakers. This is a picture of a family member sleeping under one of the children beds in the ER. Notice she is sleeping on cardboard. I guess this is common becuase the family is expected to stay with the patient. Also, patients stay in the ER at this hospital for days if needed. I tried to figure out why but never could figure it out.

I was very impressed with the things the hospital workers came up with. The nurses and doctors have the education but not the resources, so they came up with a lot of really good ideas. Like this one, where they blew up gloves to support a patient' heels to help prevent bed sores.

And this is one of their sharps containers.

Ok, so they clean their floors with diesel fuel. I have no idea why.

As we were touring the hospital, we saw a lot of different patients and families. One family chased us down the hall and asked us to come take a picture of their brother. We did. He had been hit by a car and was in a coma. They asked us for a wheelchair to use for him once he got out of the hospital. Sadly, he will never wake up. Not sure if the family understood that.

In the ER we saw different types of traumas. This, I thought, was the most interesting. This man had a snake bite that was being drained manually, meaning the doctor was pushing the venom out of the bite. It was extremely painful but the man did not have pain medication. Remember, they have to supply their own medication.

Ok, enough disgusting pictures. We were able to go into the pediatric rooms. Again, the families were the main caretakers. This little guy was so cute!!

I thought this was a humbling picture. The mom holding the baby's oxygen mask for the baby.

This guy was hilarious! He was blowing kisses at us as we walked by his room!

So naturally we went and got pictures with him!!

This little girl was hit by a car.

Her leg was broken and in traction. Again, they came up with their own way of supplying the weights to hold the traction on her leg. Note the partially filled milk jug.

These two little girls were in the ER with their families.

This one had been there for two days with appendicitis.

This one had just gotten there and was being treated for dengue fever. Dengue fever is transmitted by mosquitoes and has become a really big problem in Ecuador. Interestingly enough, when I went to the travel doctor for this trip, dengue fever was not even mentioned. We left on the trip worried about malaria but we came home from the trip worried about dengue fever.

I watched them put an IV in her hand. She didn't even flinch. Total tough girl!

We also had the opportunity to go into their neonatal intensive care unit. That was fascinating. The rest of the hospital was lacking in so many ways but not this area. It was almost like walking into my hospital. They pretty much had everything we do at home. Even this little guy who was basking away under his tanning (bilirubin) lights!:)

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