Patient Screening/Evaluation Day – Liberia 2018

The entire CSI 2018 Liberia team has arrived, and today we were up well before the sun and the settling of the dew. After a hearty breakfast at the Guesthouse, we headed for the hospital for our patient-screening day. Our usual route has changed due to the collapse of the bridge over the Du River in June. It now takes about 40 minutes to get to and from the hospital on a very bumpy road.

We evaluated 105 patients, some of whom had been waiting for two days. We are able to treat a fairly wide range of surgical problems, thanks to the variety of specialties our surgeons represent: Dr. Vandersteen and Dr. Fox (urology), Dr. Andrews (general surgery) and Dr. Roby (ENT). Pediatricians Dr. Wood and Dr. Hennum, along with our nursing staff, worked together to make sure the kids are healthy enough for surgery. Our schedule for the week was quickly filled with 89 children.

An orphanage caregiver arrived with three young children after traveling 80 km, hoping for life-changing surgeries. One of the boys had been just recently taken into the orphanage and has no family. We are hopeful to offer surgery to two of these children. They really looked out for each other today during screening, referring to each other as brother and sister.

While patients were being screened, the pediatric ward, pre-op and recovery rooms were readied and the anesthesia and OR staff unpacked and prepared supplies for our first surgical day tomorrow. Our teams don’t want to put any unnecessary stress of the limited resources of the hospital, so we bring nearly all of our own supplies. Getting set up for a large number of surgeries in a few short days is a big job!

Tomorrow will be a busy and exciting surgery day.

See more photos from screening day here.