By Raghu Thunga, M.D., COO, LIG Global Foundation
LIG Global Foundation (www.ligglobal.org) is a not-for-profit public global charity dedicated to helping provide proper healthcare to the underprivileged. In our recent trip to Dajabon in the Dominican Republic, we utilized the SonoSite portable ultrasound to assist our work. We saw over 150 patients and performed a multitude of surgical procedures, with the SonoSite M-Turbo ultrasound device being critical to our work.
Since there was a scarcity of analgesic medication to treat pain for our postoperative patients, we relied upon regional blocks to provide long term pain relief. Our concentration for this trip was primarily in the area of gynecologic and obstetric surgeries, utilizing lower abdominal incisions. We performed Transversus Abdominal Plane blocks, which can only be performed reliably using ultrasound guidance. Our patients awoke from anesthesia comfortable and were allowed to go home the following day with minimal or no use of opioid medication.
We also used the ultrasound device to triage our OB/Gyn patients. We were able to assess causes of abdominal pain and gynecological causes of bleeding. We had many patients present in various stages of pregnancy, and without prior prenatal care. We were able to assess the age, position and overall health of their fetuses utilizing the ultrasound image. One particularly unique use of the ultrasound was in a patient who was in the last trimester of pregnancy, but who was also found to have several large cancerous growths on her face. She arrived to the hospital after a several mile journey via donkey from her village, so there were no available surgeons at her disposal to remove those lesions either before or after her pregnancy. We decided to remove those lesions under anesthesia. Our concern was the health of the baby during the procedure. We were able to utilize the ultrasound to image the fetus throughout the procedure, allowing for safe removal of the lesions.
We want to thank SonoSite for their efforts in helping organizations like ours.
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