| Apr 09, 2010
Medical Teams International volunteer nurse Ashley Johansen was working in the pharmacy getting ready to make a house call when our host at Bonne Finne Hospital came in asking if she had ever done a chest tube on someone. “I've assisted with the procedure, but I've never done one myself,” Ashley said. The patient, whose name was “Tibo”, was in his 70's and had been in a motorcycle accident leaving him with multiple fractures and major head trauma. He had been admitted two days prior and had progressively gotten worse. His breathing became incredibly labored and it was clear if they didn't do something dramatic, Tibo was going to die.
Dr. Rudy, the Haitian doctor on staff, was a skilled orthopedic surgeon. However, in his nine years of practicing medicine he had not had encountered a need to do a chest tube. As the Haitian staff and our volunteers decided how to proceed, it was clear that there were only two ways forward: do nothing and let the patient die or perform the chest tube procedure and still possibly have the patient die.
The chest tube procedure was the only acceptable way forward. There was, however, limited knowledge available at the hospital so another volunteer decided to pull out her iPhone and Google how to perform a chest tube procedure.
Armed with the iPhone, Dr. Rudy reviewed the procedure and moved forward with Medical Teams International volunteers Dr. Jan and Nurse Ashley assisting. Everyone else prayed.
It took three very nerve wracking days of around-the-clock care but Tibo began to improve after the successful procedure. Tibo was determined to stand up, talk to his family and see out of both eyes.
Each day brought challenges for Tibo but thanks to a talented Haitian doctor, some great Medical Teams International volunteers, the grace of God and an iPhone, Tibo will leave Bonne Finne with his life.