Saturday, April 6, 2013

Epidurals are Beautiful Things

I have a friend who delivered three of her babies without epidurals. After spending a week on OB here, where epidurals are nowhere to be found, she is my new hero. Also, after one week, I’ve come to appreciate OB nurses SO MUCH!! In the states, delivering a baby is a relatively clean endeavor for the doctor. We put on gowns and gloves, catch the baby, and leave the nurses to do the clean-up. That’s not the case here…

Let me try to paint a picture of how OB works at Mulago: Imagine a long open room with over 20 beds in it. Now imagine women in labor without pain meds on those beds. This room is never quiet. The beds don’t break down like normal labor beds, instead the women deliver on sheets of plastic. Once a baby is delivered, we use a roll of cotton (like a giant cotton ball) to clean up the woman. If the baby needs any sort of resuscitation, there is one small area in the room where we can work on him/her. On days when the ward is busy, woman sit on mats in the middle of the floor while laboring if there are no beds available. 

The ward I am working on is considered high risk. In the few days I've been around this week, I've seen a breech delivery, twins - one with achondroplasia, an omphalocele, multiple postpartum hemorrhages, and a uterine inversion. I'm excited for the next few weeks! 

Four of us head out to look at gorillas at Bwindi Impenetrable National Forest, so I'll try to take some good pictures to put up when I get back! 

Rainy Saturday as I write

1 comment:

  1. You rock Mara! Keep up the great work. I can't even imagine seeing what you are seeing! Stay safe!