Deborah Majure RT, CV, RDMS, RCC is a diagnostic medical sonographer who knows the importance of ultrasound in resource-limited environments. She recently returned from a charitable medical mission to Belize, sent by First Presbyterian Church, Pascagoula, Mississippi, which is affiliated with Word at Work ministry. This was their fourth mission to Belize. Deborah came with a radiologist, nurse practitioner, resident nurse, pharmacist, and a construction team. She also brought a SonoSite Edge portable ultrasound machine with C60x and HFL38x transducers loaned from the SonoSite Global Loaner Pool.
Deborah’s team set up clinics within and outside of Belize City, and at the Belize Central Prison. The prison has only one physician to take care of its entire population, including the staff, their families, and about 1,700 prisoners. Deborah performed pelvic, abdominal, thyroid, breast, soft tissue, and OB scans at the prison and clinics. Deborah explains how essential the Edge proved to be:
“We found several patients with very large multinodular thyroids, one patient with large polycystic ovaries, one synovial cyst, one hematoma, large fibroids, and one soft tissue mass. We were especially glad we had an ultrasound for the soft tissue mass! The patient was a ten-year-old boy who had gone to a doctor in Belize City and had been told it was an infection. The mom was given a black salve to put on it to draw it to head and drain. The mass had not changed, so the mom brought him to see us. At first the idea was to drain it using ultrasound, but when we imaged it, we saw that it was a solid, vascular mass. We let the mom have a picture from the scan with a description from us and urged her to take him to the hospital for a possible excision and biopsy. Without ultrasound, a physician may have tried to aspirate this.”
Deborah’s team saw 355 patients, and supplied them with medication and vitamins. They also visited a daycare and preschool for children with HIV/AIDS. One special moment for Deborah was holding a baby she saw in utero the year before. Deborah writes:
“Thank you for the loan of the ultrasound equipment. It made a world of difference in the diagnosis and treatment during our clinics. The physicians and patients greatly appreciate this!”
While FUJIFILM SonoSite, Inc. supports the improvement of health care in the global community, we do not officially endorse any of the charities and organizations that are mentioned or linked to on our Global Health page.
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