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Floating Doctors: “Family” Practice

Floating Doctors: “Family” Practice
December 3, 2015 No comments

By Jolie LaBrot, Floating Doctors


She seemed ill, but stoic. At the admin table, I took her name and, as there were few people on the list ahead of her, she was sent immediately to an intake station prior to seeing Dr. Pablo, one of our Lead Medical Providers.

As one of the US-based crewmembers, I only spend a few weeks per year in Panama. I’m so thankful to have been in Bocas and present at our most recent visit to Tierra Oscura, a small community not far from our new volunteer headquarters.

I saw Pablo move our patient, let’s call her Ana, to the small walled-off area we use for ultrasounds and more involved physical exams. Shortly, he came out and pulled our other Lead Medical Provider, Dr. Chris, in to consult. She had, they believed, acute appendicitis and would need to be transported immediately to hospital.

This isn’t the first assumed case of acute appendicitis we’ve encountered, and certainly not the first patient we’ve had who needed immediate transport to advanced care, so I knew we had the procedures in place and the crew to implement them and get Ana to the hospital. Unfortunately, she initially refused to go. She has four children, one still breastfeeding, and her family lives on the mainland. In spite of the offers from her neighbor to care for her children, she felt uncomfortable, and undoubtedly, afraid, at leaving her children without the care of her family while she was in hospital.

Read more here.

(source: Floating Doctors)

Posted in: blog