Monday, 3 August 2015

My last week here

This week has been fairly uneventful on the most part.

We've had normal clinics and a new Dr has arrived from Denmark for a few months.

The weather has been good too.

The one thing of significance this week happened the night the new Dr got here. A few of us had just sat down to eat in the evening (I'd just told him that I was disappointed that there wasn't anything that interesting since I got here) and the phone rang. The nurse in charge looked concerned and one of the other nurses turned to me and said that a boy had drowned. Once the phone was back on the hook I was told that I was needed (we are all on call informally 24/7)

We beat the ambulance to the hospital (we were next door), I propped the door opened and started thinking of what to expect. A minute or so later a boy looking very unwell was carried in, very limp, but crying.

I was asked to get a cannula in as that is something I can do without having to try to communicate too much. Once that was in (first try), and someone else had sorted the oxygen etc. the boy started getting a little more responsive (and fighty, but that was a relief). His parents had now turned up and were understandably distressed, with the language barrier not helping (although his mum does understand English and they speak OK Danish). His temp was very low and his lungs sounded terrible.

We got his O2 sats up and he started to warm up, so we went back for dinner leaving him in the capable hands of the night staff.

Now I know from a previous SSM that a drowning in cold salt water is the best option (if you get to choose). But I never expected to come back in the morning to find a boy who you'd have assumed was a visitor not a patient who was close to dying 12 hours before.

It turned out that he was fishing in the harbour and for some reason fell in, a local fisherman saw him already lying on the bottom of the sea and fished him out (literally, with a net). Performed CPR and then called us. I wonder if the boy will ever realise how lucky he was and how a couple of minutes either way and the outcome would be different. I had to do a check up today and he said his ribs hurt (CPR will do that), and that seems to be the only problem with him so far.

Now all that I need to do is pack my bags and hope the weather is clear for my flight out, or I may get one of the unplanned trip extensions that Greenland is famous for.

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