Friday, July 30, 2010

Burn Unit.

A few weeks ago a woman was brought into the clinic on a homemade stretcher. She was whimpering softly to herself in pain. I was busy with prentatals but I figured it had to be serious. Later I found out she was burned by boiling liquid and 27% of her body was covered in 2nd degree burns, possible 3rd degree in some places.

We dressed her wounds, got her pain killers and then took her home. What struck me the most was how elderly she was. She must be in her 70s – frail and grey haired. (grey hair is not common here.)

She was supposed to come back daily for wound care but five days went by and she didn’t return. Jessica (the nurse in the wound care room) confessed that she thought she was dead because she hadn’t returned. To us the possibility seemed likely. When you have severe burns staying hydrated is very difficult.

But after 5 days of no care, Sabet found her and drove her to the clinic. She wasn’t able to walk and so didn’t come for the care she needed. Her family had no way to get her to us and may have just given up.

When she came in most of my pregnant patients went as far away from her as they could get. She smelled so foul it was hard just to be in the same building let alone the same room.

Her burns had pussed over and become septic. She was seriously sick and Jessica and Margaret worked hard to get her wounds debraided and cleaned. It was agreed that Sabet would pick her up daily and her wounds would be changed twice daily and then she would be driven home.

This has worked well and two or three weeks later the improvement has been remarkable. This last week she was able to move herself from the wheelchair onto the bed. Before she was carried everywhere on a mattress.

So praise God with me for this great healing. She’ll be scarred no doubt but she’ll live. I’m impressed with her pain tolerance. She is stronger than I think I’ll ever be.