Friday, August 20, 2010
Abcess treatment... Cambodian style!
This week the medical team ran out of money... BAD TIMES. Well not entirely out of money I suppose, there was a cheeky $10 spare in case of a medical emergency... We managed to get a wee cash stretch as one of Korsang's participants in the hospital had been diagnosed with TB, he also had two dysfunctional lungs. His condition has been causing him to retain water in both his lungs, resulting in a "big belly" as my medical supervisor, JB, liked to call it. So the emergency money went towards the daily draining of the water.
Being short of money has not been easy, we've not been able to get patients prescriptions, blood tests or take poorly patients to the hospital for medical care. This became a problem on Tuesday, as a 40 something year old man hobbled into the clinic. His foot was easily double the size of the other foot, and as we peered round to exam it we caught sight of a huge abscess. The old man had fallen down a week previously and had neglected his wound. Unable to take him to the hospital the rest of the medical team dealt with the situation quite routinely. As the man hopped onto the bed, JB prepred the equipment: gauze and betadine. As he squezzed the abcess I could hear the man silently screaming into the pillow. No anesthetic, no doctor, but he didn't seem worried and neither did JB, ten minutes after squeezing we slapped on a bandage and the old man stood up already saying how much better he felt. Job done! We gave him some antiB's and he was on his way. It really makes you think that at this clinic the treatment they provide is as effective if not more than the one given at the hospital. We've seem the same guy every day this week, where we've continued to drain his abscess, we even used lidocaine yesterday! The people giving the treamtent might not be doctors but they all easily know way more than what I thought and I hope that before I leave in Decemebr I'll be draining my very own abscesses ;-)