We raised funds, worked, packed, traveled, and worked some more - and had plenty of fun along the way - but CAMTA Mission 2015 is now over.
Over a two week period in February and March, our team of 93 volunteers - medical professionals and lay people - changed the lives of 58 Ecuadoreans and their families. We performed 35 procedures on 24 children, and did 34 hip replacements for 29 adults. Five of those adults had BOTH hips replaced and walked out of the hospital a few days later!
The Teams were a good mix of returning team members who provided experience and continuity, plus first time volunteers, who brought enthusiasm and fresh ideas to our group.
New for us this year - an on-site blood bank at Un Canto a la Vida Hospital which made it much easier for our patients to get blood if they needed transfusions. Previously, a patient's family had to travel across Quito to pick up donated blood, when needed.
On the Saturday morning between Weeks One and Two, two of our CAMTA surgeons, Jaime Carvajal Alba and Jay Jarvis, presented at the first Tierra Nueva Foundation Conference on Orthopedics and Traumatology. Dr. Carvajal Alba's talk on "Coxartrosis "(osteoarthritis of the hip) and Dr. Jarvis' on "Hip Dysplasia in Children arising from Fractures" were well received by the local doctors, nurses and physiotherapists in attendance. We are already planning for the Second Annual Conference in 2016.
Pediatric LPN, Saison Demitor, taught CPR to local nurses and nursing students at the hospital on the second Wednesday morning. Saison is a CPR instructor for the Heart & Stroke Foundation. She used a power point presentation, which had been translated into Spanish ahead of time, to review the basics of adult and child CPR, the Heimlich maneuver and the use of an AED (automated external defibrillator).
And we are happy to say that ALL of our patients were discharged before we left Quito this year. This rarely happens. Patients who have surgery late in Week 2 often need to be cared for for a few extra days by the very competent staff at Un Canto a la Vida. Our timely discharges this year included a patient who had BOTH hips replaced on Friday and was able to walk and navigate stairs by Sunday morning!