My normal day! Each morning we met around 7:00am to run the list and review the xrays of the patients that came in the night before. Tenwek is blessed to have a digital xray system that works most of the time. The census (number of orthopedic patients in the hospital) varied from 25-50 patients spread out among the various wards of the hospital - orthopedics, male surgical, female surgical, pediatrics, wound ward, etc. Open fractures were very common, many presenting to the hospital days after sustaining their injuries. The vast majority of the fractures we saw were the result of Road Traffic Crashes (RTCs). The taxi system includes the Bota-botas (motorcyles driven by teenagers who feel that 4+ people on one motorcycle is a good idea) and Matatus (mini-vans that pack in 12-20 people). Bad roads, high speed, alcohol, and crowded streets insure job security for orthopedists for many years to come.
We met here each morning for xray review!
This is a 'small' list of patients!
After rounds we would meet at the surgical board to divide up the cases and go over the cases for the day. The board below is a typical board. Of the five total ORs, two are devoted to orthopedics. It was typical to get 3-4 cases done in a day. Above, the general surgeons are also meeting to discuss their cases.
The day typically ended around 5:00pm and whatever cases were not done were simply moved to the following day.
Two major differences between Kenya and the USA: First, in the USA, everything is disposable. In Kenya, everything is reusable - gowns, drapes, towels, traction pins, bovies, scrub brushes, etc. Second, in the USA a premium is placed on efficiency, turnover time, and productivity. The Kenyan culture is a far more laid back culture without the idolatrous desire to squeeze every ounce of productivity out of a day. A very refreshing perspective.
More to come...