I planned to write about a typical surgical day of a Rotaplast mission. The truth is, there is no typical day. Each day presents different challenges, new patients, and changing surgery schedules. Everything is not exactly on time or at the ready; and we adapt. Everyone on the team has a job to do. Each morning when we step on the bus at 7 am we know the key to a successful day will be to be flexible.
At the hospital, pediatricians do rounds, surgeons check on their patients, and the ward coordinators account for each patient and ensure they have their medical chart ready to go. The head nurse reviews and revises the schedule while the anesthesiologists and nurses prepare the ORs for the first surgeries of the day. Each day we utilize three operating rooms from the time we arrive until approximately 6pm or 7pm. The recovery team remains at the hospital until the last patient of the day has moved to the ward floor.
Throughout the day there is a buzz of activity as children are brought into the OR, transported to recovery room after surgery, and finally the moms, dads, or in many cases grandmothers are brought in to comfort their child.
Today, our 6th day of surgery we had another in-take. Reison is a sweet 5-month-old child with a bilateral cleft lip. He and his family live in southern Peru. He is here because his grandfather saw TV coverage of the Rotaplast mission to Peru. Reison will have surgery tomorrow; our last surgical day of the mission.