Well I am finally here in Cape Town; this city is incredible! The mountains surround the city which is lined by the ocean. My new homestay and roomates are fantastic! The new leaders of the CFHI program here in Cape Town are also incredible and truly go out of their way to make sure you are healthy and happy. I will spend all four weeks at G.F. Jooste hospital in the various wards. My first rotation was in surgery. I had the opportunity to observe several surgeries including a colonectomy, an above the knee amputation, and the draining of a knee abcess. I have now seen a total of 14 surgeries while in Africa. However, possibly the most interesting part of my surgical rotation was hearing the surgeons complain and stress about the status of the hospital and their patients. Due to the fact that some things people said should not be published by me on a public interface, I will not say specifics. However, the hospital is shutting down in a few months for three years as it gets renovated. This hospital deals with patients which should not be seen in only a level two hospital, but since it services most of Cape Flats, with the lack of resources this hospital treats high trauma patients. The man who received the colonectomy died only 30 minutes after his surgery. Before and during his surgery the doctors kept saying that they shouldn’t be doing this, but that the man stood absolutely no chance if they didn’t. The doctors are incredibly frustrated with the situations they are put into.
The weekend was the garden route tour. I had an absolute blast! From going through caves which were so narrow that I had to turn my head to the side to get through to jumping off the highest bunjee jump in the world, this weekend was amazing! I am now in my trauma and ER rotation.
Today, a woman was woken up in her bed with her two kids by being shot several times in her knees. The woman came into the hospital and one of the bullets had somehow gotten all the way to her buttox without damaging her femur. We watched them take out the bullet. Another woman came in with a bandaged foot which had a grocery bag tied around it because it was leaking a yellow fluid. Her glucose level was so low that the doctor said it was insane that she was even conscious. I will write more later, but I still want to digest my impressions of the ER before I write any judgements I might regret. I cannot believe that I am almost 3/4 through with my time in africa! It seems absolutely crazy!