Monday, October 25, 2010
Over the weekend, the demand for services from our normal patients declined, and this provided us with the opportunity to review our current approach to managing the cholera patients. Initially, we had admitted cholera patients to the Observation Unit, and after stabilizing the patients for one or two days, transferred them to a transition and discharge unit in the courtyard. Children with cholera were cared for in the former physical therapy class rooms, next to the pediatrics unit, but many children were outside in the halls.
HAS designed a plan whereby all of the patients with cholera were assembled in the courtyard, and access to that space was restricted to clinical staff caring for these patients. The pediatric patients were transferred to a single large room in the annex, with closed access. Now, as Monday starts and we begin to receive the normal flow of outpatients and continue to care for the hospital's 130 inpatients, we are actually operating two hospitals - one for patients with cholera, and one for the remaining patients. The halls of the hospital have been cleared of the beds which had been filled with cholera patients, and the flow of medical personnel and patients has returned to normal. A large tent which was donated by the International Medical Corps has been set up outside the hospital as a triage and treatment center for non-cholera patients, in order to reduce the number of patients in the hospital.
Because of restriction in travel to and from Port-au-Prince makes it difficult for the amputees to get to HAS, the Hanger team of prostheticians and physical therapists has joined the hospital staff to provide patient support services, to allow the nurses to focus exclusively on clinical care. The technicians repaired a number of beds in order to make them available for the patients, prepared and distributed oral rehydration solutions, and providing logistics support.
The coming week will be very instructive in terms of the broad direction of this disease, both in our area as well as in Port au Prince (where new cases have been reported) and in other parts of the country.
Posted by Ian Rawson at 9:52 AM