We arrived at the hospital this morning to discover that two young women had sadly died: one aged 28, a mother of several children who was 30 weeks pregnant and died from anaemia, the other from what was probably eclampsia following the birth of twins. The maternity ward is very quiet right now, so we were pleased to see a lot of cleaning going on. We bought a new bassinet from the market to bring babies born by caesarean section back from theatre, and the team in the laundry kindly washed the old one. Their extra labour was rewarded by a big bag of pegs to enable them to hang their washing on the line rather than the ground!
I then gave a presentation on hospital management to Alex, the Director General, though the challenges here are as huge from a management and administrative perspective as they are from a nursing one.
Still no sign of our luggage: I think it’s lost on the long road from Rumbek!
I decided to check on our flights for Friday from Wau to Juba, so went to the WFP office about 3 miles away. They sent me to the airport, another couple of hot miles away, where I was told there was no flight on Friday and that there was no one there from WFP (though there was!)…so back to the office who sent me back to the airport where I eventually found a very helpful member of the WFP staff who confirmed we are booked on the Friday flight. I was told to return again at 2pm on Thursday for tickets and to check the manifest for the flight time, which doesn’t seem to get decided until the day before! At least I know we are booked. It was then off to the market to collect Peter’s trousers which he had ordered to be made on Saturday…they cost just under £10, not bad for a pair of made-to-measure trousers. We had also been looking for a thin mattress to have in theatre for baby resuscitation: I found just the thing in the shop next door for about £4.40 which will be fine once adapted, so I bought two and managed to bargain and get a £2SDP (about 35p), reduction for the bulk buy!
Judy has been in theatre, Sara in the antenatal clinic, Abi teaching resuscitation on the wards and working on the surgical ward (more later), Peter’s had an interesting case of bowel obstruction in a baby, which he sent copies of x-rays back to a Poole colleague for help in diagnosis. During surgery the generator ceased up, so we had no electricity yet again. After the surgery I popped into theatre to collect something and found the baby hardly breathing; Sara & I resuscitated him and called Peter, after about 30mins he was stable enough to move to the paediatric ward where he is receiving oxygen from one of the concentrators we fundraised for; though with the lack of skilled nursing care I’m uncertain if he will survive the night..
So its back to the CHTI to teach the student midwives, always a rewarding task, followed by a not very cold beer!
After resuc in the gynae ward I returned to the challenging male surgical ward where I looked after several patients. I am getting very frustrated that some of the nurses will not do observations when they should, and are happier chatting to each other and looking after their children! I worked with the enthusiastic student nurse, teaching him wound debridement and wound care. I’ve made friends with many of the relatives, especially those of a very sick elderly gentleman who I’ve been caring for a lot all day. At least the nurses have put their sharps in the right bin today