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"He has only his mother at his side."

Young man with apparent epidural hematoma

Photo by Michael Ashburn

We are having a rather busy day today. Our OR schedule was disrupted when this young man arrived in the morning. He fell from a gourde and became unresponsive. It appears that he has an epidural hematoma, although we do not have access to anything other than plain film X-Ray. We took him to the OR to do an emergent Burr hole, but the procedure was not done when we were unable to find a neurosurgeon who was available to care for him. As a result, he us receiving medical management only.

He has only his mother at his side. He lost his father in the earthquake. Mom spent all she had to bury her husband and has nothing left. We will look into how much she needs to bury her son and do what we can to help.

Booked OR Schedule

We will now need to operate into the evening to allow us to keep up with need. Our OR schedule is full through Monday, and we are now booking into Tuesday. We are starting to schedule all procedures we expect any individual patient will need, so that definitive care is completed on as many patients as possible.

"Wound Rounds"

This afternoon "wound rounds" took almost 3 hours. We use a fair amount of ketamine for the children, as many have open wounds. We are learning how to do anesthesia on the floor, literally. Today we had to move from the cast room to the floor by a plug because the extension cord died in the middle of removing a cast in a child. Once the old cast was off we moved back to the cast room.


This report was written by Michael Ashburn, MD, MPH, MBA, during his participation in Haitian relief efforts through Penn Medicine in coordination with Partners in Health.


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