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San Lucas Toliman – Wednesday

Right Place at the Right Time


This morning proved to be quite a dramatic one, and could have had a very different outcome had the Medical Missions Foundation team not been right where they were when needed. Lisa Dinse related this story to me, as she was involved with it primarily from start to finish.


During morning preparations for surgery Rachel (our nurse practitioner) had gone downstairs to do rounds with Dr. Alley and Dr. Peterson. Rachel is fluent in Spanish, so it is exceptional to be able to have her there to translate and communicate with patients on post-operative rounds. Rachel happened to walk by the Emergency Room/Clinic and saw a baby lying on the bed that looked lifeless and unresponsive. She ran upstairs and grabbed anesthesia and the rest of the team. The baby was in fact alive, but struggling to breathe, feverish, and having seizures. He was about a year old, very sick and dehydrated. His mother said he had been vomiting for a couple of days.


The team could not get an IV started, had no working monitor to check oxygen saturation, and no pediatric blood pressure cuff small enough to check his blood pressure. They began working to get an intravenous line placed. They worked for what seemed to Lisa to be about twenty minutes, with the baby still seizing, and were finally able to get a femoral line started. A pediatric BP cuff that we had on hand was brought downstairs, and an O2 monitor, which read that his oxygen levels were only at 70-80%. He was still struggling to breathe. Once the femoral line was placed, they were able to give him a sedative to help stop the seizing and he began breathing on his own.




The baby, though stable for the moment, needed to be transferred to the larger hospital in Solola, however the ONE ambulance they have had just left to transport another patient. This is over an hour drive round trip, so they had to keep him stabilized until the ambulance returned. Anti-seizure medication was given and when the ambulance returned, they got the baby on board and gave the ambulance the pediatric blood pressure cuff to use and keep on hand in the future. The ambulance was able to get the baby to the hospital in Solola, and someone reported that they were able to stabilize him there and he was doing okay as of yesterday. We do not have any further information on his condition at this time, but we are hoping that he pulls through. THIS is exactly the reason why we come and why we serve. We are so thankful to all that worked so diligently to help this little one.