Date: November 7, 2018 - November 14, 2018
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Team Lead: Dr. Darryl Young
Locations: Port au Prince, Haiti
In November, 2018, Broken Earth's Team Ottawa returned to Port-au-Prince Haiti for its third medical mission. Led by Dr. Darryl Young and Dr. Mark Steeves, the team is comprised of staff from Kemptville District Hospital, Queensway-Carleton Hospital, Montfort Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, TOH Residency Training program, ConMed Orthopedics, and Health Canada. The hallmark of this team was polyvalence – people all did whatever it took to help one another get as much accomplished every day as possible, while dealing with system frustrations and slowdowns. Nurses, physiotherapist and doctors all stepped beyond the bounds of their specialties to circulate, transfer patients, do inventory, scrub or circulate in the OR – it was a prestigious team effort! The team was excited to have the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of the Haitian people, as well as to help build the experience of the local Haitian medical professionals through knowledge sharing and training sessions.
Here is what the team accomplished, with everyone's support, donations, and/or encouragement:
Our physiotherapist taught local therapists, and treated many patients of all ages, getting people back on their feet (quite literally) who had not walked for weeks, in some cases. She also helped educate families and assisted other members of our team whenever necessary. Our pediatric nurses lived in the Neonatal/Pediatric ICU and ER, and looked after many children. Some success stories, some tragedies, as a few of the children will not live past the week... But the education they shared, and the insight they brought will help local practitioners meet higher standards of care. Our Emergency physician ran clinics, trauma codes, ER assessments, and helped everyone around her. A veteran of many similar trips, she saved lives and also did a huge amount of teaching. Our two logistics members, non-medical volunteers, ran themselves ragged fetching and carrying for all of us, and solving a myriad small problems before they became big ones. They also re-organized the Team Broken Earth storage area, bringing order to the chaos, and creating an online reference table so that future teams can find things easily. Each team brings down donated and purchased equipment and supplies (we had 17 big hockey bags full of stuff), so you can imagine the magnitude of the undertaking! Our surgical team, with the help of three anesthetists, performed 35 procedures (including 5 under local anesthetic in the clinic, a first for this hospital): 10 general surgery, 8 plastic surgery, 17 orthopedic surgery. Our three OR nurses were sensational, and many other members of our team also came and helped in the OR, working outside their comfort zone when we were short-staffed!
Overall, the team was very pleased with what we accomplished and looks forward to returning to Haiti again in October, 2019.
You may make a general donation to help support the team, or click on a specific team member's name to help support their participation cost. All donations will go to support the next Team Ottawa mission. Thank-you for your generosity!