From Stab Wound to All Smiles
While the weather the past few days have been reminiscent of spring days, sunny with a chill but dry, we do have winter days where the rain doesn't let up and the cold sets into your body. As a result, most of what we see in the clinic are colds, or what's come to be dubbed as the Moria flu (headache, runny nose, sore throat, cough). Every once in a while we do get something different, like a broken leg, sprained ankle, toothache, pregnancy issue and even a stab wound. Yes, stab wound. That's what happened the other day. A guy came in, with no voice, complaining of the typical sore throat and a fever...and arm pain? That's when he rolled up his sleeve and we saw a bandaid over a wound. Off came the bandaid and there was this cut that looked decently deep and a few days old. This wasn't a case of the Moria flu. How would we treat this? Was our medical clinic in a barn in the middle of a refugee camp equipped for this?
The doctors had a look see, pow wowed, shifted the patient to the dental clinic (it's been set up but the dentists had to leave so the room has been used as an office) and started setting up for a mini procedure where they would give him stitches. It was quite a sight to see. There they were, a medical acupuncturist, a midwife, a nephrologist and a neurologist, in a barn, helping stitch the wound of an Arabic speaking refugee. (The secret weapon was definitely the midwife, the comfort she provided, even though there was some anesthesia provided, clearly helped alleviate some of the pain and uncertainty for our patient.)
For the record, he got the wound when he made the boat trip to Greece. Once boats land, they will get punctured (using a knife) so they can't be used again. I still haven't gone out to a rescue yet so I don't have all the first-hand details but I hear this is common practice.
It went well. The guy was thrilled with his treatment. And to give a story an even happier ending, he came by the next day before he left to take the ferry to Athens, all smiles, thanking us for helping him.
And to think we did this, in a barn, in the middle of a field. Definitely a badass and happy moment for all.