Dr. Sawyer Serving with Samaritan's Purse

Dr. Sawyer Serving with Samaritan's Purse
Papua New Guinea

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

...but she is still bleeding.

For the faint of heart, I will wait to share my medical story until the end of this blog, just in case you don't want to look. 

Please be fore warned that not everyone will want to see the third picture on this blog today.

One of the things I enjoy most about serving overseas is spending more time with my family.  Although Teresa is far better at making puzzles than I am, we spent a lot of time together working on this puzzle.  The shades of brown nearly drove me mad!  

Teresa, Anna and Amber spent the afternoon on Tuesday with another missionary physician's children.  Their mother needed to get some time to herself to finish off some reports.  When I walked into our apartment at the end of the day, the kids were piled up on the sofa listening to Teresa read books.  Today (Wednesday), Teresa and the girls are going to mud a hut.  I'm not sure what all is involved with that, but I told them to be sure to wear white!  Hopefully I can post some pictures soon!
On Tuesday morning I was in the morbidity and mortality (M&M) conference at the hospital, listening to my students present several patients and the ob/gyn statistics from last month.  A few minutes into the first patient presentation, my pager went off.  It was the phone number for the labor ward with a 999 after the number, which means it is an emergency.  

I called the number and my medical student, Purity, said in her usual quiet and barely audible voice, that a patient had miscarried and that she was still bleeding.  Little did I know at that moment, but that would be the theme of the day.  It seemed that all day long, everytime I was paged, the conversation would end with the words, "but she is still bleeding."  

I knew that we were in trouble as I walked into the labor ward and followed the bloodied footsteps leading to the last labor bed.  When I walked around the curtain, one of the things that I saw were the shoes of the patient on the floor next to her bed.  I can't show you the picture of what else I saw, but suffice it to say it was 100 times worse that the shoes on the floor.  After doing an emergency dilation and curettage on this woman, we then had a patient deliver a severely anomalous baby and then she had a postpartum hemorrhage.  A previous volunteer had donated a Bakri Balloon device, which is a life saving device for severe postpartum hemorrhage.  I had to pull this prized item from the doctor's locker and used it to save this woman's life, as she had bled so much that she was in the early stages of a bleeding disorder called disseminated intravascular coagulation.  I checked on her at midnight last night and she is doing well after receiving multiple units of blood.  Today I will remove the Bakri device from her uterus.  
Patient shoes on the floor of labor ward.
It is incredibly gratifying to come and to teach and to serve these patients, doctors, nurses and students here.   Thank you for your prayers and support for us to be here.  Please pray for the many patients that we are caring for that are so incredibly sick.  In the United States it is unusual for me to have a patient in the Intensive Care Unit, and here today I have four! 

1 comment:

  1. You are doing amazing work! We are all so lucky to have you!