2nd day of seeing patients: Today was crazy!!!! Each station was full to maximum capacity! Every student was in full patient care mode…working hard. Yesterday was an easy first day. We saw about 150 patients, but we were done around 2pm! We saw someone with heart failure and were able to check his creatinine (a kidney test) which was 2.3 (very abnormal). So all the meetings and packing and putting things in order and labeling everything on baggies and walls was all to prepare for today! Lisa, Sara, Joel, Elaine and I went to visit the “Health Center” which was about a 20 minute drive down the hill, so we got to the church around 10 pm to a bustling crowd. I went into the church and it’s all a blur but I just went to all the patients checking their charts and checking blood sugars and hemoglobin (to check for anemia) as students came up to me asking me questions. Actually even before I got out of the car when I first arrive, Josh announced that there was a woman with an abscess on her hand and he wanted to open and drain it (future surgeon). The hand was pretty inflamed and the abscess was quite big. We numbed it, opened it and packed it in our surgical suite (on the steps outside the church). We saw several diabetics all with pretty high sugars and soooooo many high blood pressures! I think the highest we saw was 240/130. She felt fine (that’s a hospital admission in the U.S.!) One 19 yr old had a positive HIV test (twice) so we’re going to send her to the hospital in the city to get a confirmatory test. We checked her boyfriend who was negative, so hopefully it’s a false positive. The gynecologist picked up a breast mass that she was worried about. The doctor that usually joins us (Dr. Gousse) came up today and we were able to ask how to handle this. It just so happens that a group of surgeons are coming to Hope Hospital the first week in July, so we just have to pay for her transportation to Port-au-Prince. We saw several adults with pretty severe anemia. There was one 18 year old, developmentally delayed…super tall and skinny with probable TB (weight loss, coughing up blood, coughing for 2 months)…we now knew to send him to the local clinic where they do sputum testing and give out free treatment. So this morning we visited the Health Center in Paillant (which is a bigger city down from Mussotte). We met the director, ironically or serendipitously named Dr. Paillant who was trained in Cuba, so I was able to communicate with him directly in Spanish. We learned so much! For instance they do free prenatal and postnatal visits, deliveries, family planning (pills, condoms, the injection and the implant), TB testing and treatment and HIV treatment and vaccines! All for free! And, they said that they did have community health workers (5 in Mussotte) to look for those with TB, HIV and pregnant women…which is what we’ve been talking about for the past year. In fact 2 of the students last year did house to house surveys asking about a community health care worker program and no one mentioned that there was one already. Hmmmmm.