Trevor Dixon, MD, RDMS, is the Director of Emergency Ultrasound at Jacobi Medical Center in New York City and the founder and CEO of the JAHJAH Foundation (Jamaicans Abroad Helping Jamaicans At Home). Because of his specialty, Dr. Dixon is known as “The Ultrasound Guy.”
For JAHJAH’s 2020 mission, a team of 27 volunteers traveled to Jamaica, including an OBGYN, dentists, pediatrician, ER physicians, nurses, and other support staff. JAHJAH’s annual "Mission for Change" takes place over a one-week period. The Mission for Change includes the 2-Day Annual Emergency Ultrasound & Critical Care Workshop, usually held in the capital city of Kingston. Emergency room physicians from the 14 parishes across Jamaica attended the workshop, some traveling from as far as three to four hours away. Some of the clinicians even attended the session after their late overnight shift just to participate in the workshop.
Ultrasound Helps ER Efficiency
Each year, JAHJAH gets excellent feedback from the attendees, many of whom are surprised by how effective and quick ultrasound techniques can be in the assessment and treatment of patients in the ER. Hospitals in Jamaica have limited resources, and lack of enough bed space in the ER is an enormous problem. Therefore, the faster clinicians are able to treat patients, the better it is for overburdened ERs. Emergency ultrasound plays a key role in making the ER more efficient.
Having the Sonosite machines at the workshop made a tremendous difference, as the clinicians are able to get hands-on practice. In fact, the most common feedback JAHJAH receives is that the clinicians want even more machines for hands-on practice sessions.
Discovering Pathologies and a Pregnancy
Throughout the week, Dr. Dixon and his team also conducted daily health fairs in rural and inner city communities and schools across the island of Jamaica. Some of the rural communities JAHJAH visited were four hours away by bus.
Dr. Dixon noted several cases where ultrasound played a key role. In one case, a young girl was complaining of abdominal pain, and the ultrasound revealed a pregnancy she was not aware of. His team also screened Jamaican track and field athletes and discovered asthma and hypertension.
“Sonosite has continuously supported us for ten years without fail,” says Dr. Dixon. “I’ve never had the equipment malfunction, and their reliability is bar none. After you purchase the machine, Sonosite’s support is great. I just pick up the phone and call them, and they always respond quickly.”