Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Helping with Newborns

I have decided that I need 24 hours to do things and sleep, then an additional 2-3 hours to write and reflect on those experiences.  Gah.  I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed this week because I now have quite a few friends from different groups (church in addition to my fellow foreigners), and I’m also trying to maintain professional contacts, get my senior project on the road, and prepare for my medical school applications. 

Today was a good day in the clinic.  When I arrived we did a round with the babies.  I didn’t like this doctor as much, he would ask questions but didn’t help very much if the students weren’t sure.  I prefer the docs who explain everything that’s going on instead of judging if the students don’t already know.  So I didn’t learn as much, but there was one baby with something interesting on its head.  A little bump, although I forget what they decided it was.  Immediately following the round the med students went to a computer that has internet in the clinic to look for answers to the questions posed by the doctor.  They figured it out, but I was still a little lost because of their speed. 

Because I want sleep, I’m going to skip to the visit of the moms.  Cool stuff, they didn’t feel like getting the machine that allows you to hear the heart of the baby so they used a little basic, manual device to magnify the sound.  It looks similar to a little vase without a completed bottom.  You just put it on the belly of the mom, stick your ear on the other side, and move it around as necessary to find the heart.  Again, so different from the US.  At almost 1 PM, I learned that I could tend to the baby if I stuck around for the upcoming birth.  I of course decided to hold off on lunch and wait here.  It took a while for the mom to even go to the sala de partos, and once she did things were complicated.  Once she got the head out she didn’t push well so it was stuck there for a few seconds.  That’s bad for the baby, and when it came out I was very worried that I was going to see my first infant mortality.  I don’t want to see that unless I have to, it would be such a sad, heart-wrenching experience.  It took probably 30 seconds, but the baby did start crying eventually.  It was a weak cry, and the poor girl could barely move.  She was a 6 on the Apgar scale, meaning that she wasn’t as lively as she should be.  This could lead to many problems in the future.  I stood back when everything was super intense.  They aspirated the fluids from the throat and lungs of the baby girl, after which things started to look better.  Her skin wasn’t so white, etc.  There probably was some remaining problems with her blood or her circulation, but she was more or less stable.  It was then that I stepped in and they showed me how to assess the newborn.  Measurements, antibiotics for the eyes and body, etc.   Very cool, it’s a useful skill to  have.  Some Chilean students were helping out for the day, but they had to leave this evening.  They were very nice, and Wilson and I enjoyed hanging out with them.  I didn’t leave the clinic until 2:30, and my stomach was starving.  Tomorrow I have to get to the clinic a half hour early, which is too bad, but I’m going to familiarize myself with some of the patients to I can present them!  I’m very excited for this experience :D

Rest of day = normal.  Need sleep now.  

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