Friday, March 7, 2008


Thursday and Friday I spent my time in the Sala de Urgencias (or the Emergency Room). I mostly shadowed the two interns that work there. They were both really nice; it was pretty cool to see how a smaller community emergency room works after working at the one by my house (in Munster, Indiana).

Thursday was pretty chill. It really wasn't that busy. The stuff that we saw was mostly stuff that you see on a normal basis in Mexico. Pregnancy, accidents, infections, etc. One thing that I saw that was pretty interesting was a woman came in with a relatively large mass in her breast. They weren't sure if it was a cyst or a tumor, but they won't know what it is until they do either a biopsy or an X-ray. Other than that there were a couple of women in labor, a bladder infection, and a broken leg.

Friday was VERY busy. First, I saw a woman who came in with labor pains whose baby had his umbilical cord wrapped around his head. They were examining her when suddenly an ambulance came in.

Two small brothers had been poisoned by what, they didn't know. I had never seen this before. It was very devastating to see two young boys so incredibly sick. I can't even fathom what the mother was going through to have both of her sons obviously struggling to even breathe. They were screaming in terror and pain, having trouble breathing, and salivating. They immediately took the smaller boy to the trauma room because he was in much worse condition, but the older boy (and by older I mean three years old) was simply taken to a regular emergency room bed without a monitor or anything like that.

I stayed with the older boy pretty much the entire time. He was absolute terrified (for obvious reason) and kept trying to remove his NG tube which could not have been comfortable at all. In some ways, they were not prepared for such an emergency. For example, the intern gave him the NG three different times because of various issues. There was also sanitation problems with not everyone wearing gloves all the time. Also, it kind of felt like there were too many doctors in the room. (Three attendings + two residents + two interns + many nurses), but overall, they did a good job. The boys were stabilized when I left. Mostly, I was just there to help with holding the young boys legs, making sure he got enough oxygen, talking to him to help calm him down, things like that. Pretty simple, but every little bit helps.

One of the residents was really great. When I told her that I was a student, she explained everything that was going on and when through the basic steps of doing a basic pediatric examination. She was from DF (Mexico City or Districto Federal) doing her four months of service at a rural hosp ital that is required of all residents in Mexico. I can tell that I am understand more Spanish all of the time, but it was very hard for me at times because people would ask me for stuff, but I wouldn't know what it was. Although I speak pretty fluently, there are many vocab words that I still need to learn especially medical ones. I learned that the hard way.

Oh, also here are some pictures of the hospital. I made sure that the faces of all the patients were covered or not visible in the pictures to maintain privacy although there aren't any laws that are actually enforced of the type in Mexico. I also made sure to ask consent first.

No comments: