April 10, 2013
The dates Mission Central is closed during 2013 are:
January 1 (Tuesday)
January 21 (Monday)
February 18 (Monday)
March 28 (Thursday)
March 29 (Friday)
April 1 (Saturday)
May 24 (Friday – close at noon)
May 25 (Saturday)
May 27 (Monday
July 4 (Thursday)
July 5 (Friday)
August 30 (Friday – close at noon)
August 31 (Saturday)
September 2 (Monday)
November 27 (Wednesday – close at noon)
November 28 (Thursday)
November 29 (Friday)
November 30 (Saturday)
December 23 (Monday)
December 24 (Tuesday)
December 25 (Wednesday)
December 26 (Thursday)
December 31 (Tuesday)
January 1, 2014 (Wednesday)
April 2, 2013
As medical care needs of the poor across the globe continue to rise, the World Surgical Foundation’s work never ceases. Once the larger mission in Coron, Palawan was complete, Drs. Domingo and Veneranda Alvear along with a contingent of local Filipino physicians headed to Cagayan de Oro City in Northern Mindanao for WSF’s 2nd Annual Pull-through Mission in the Philippines on 6 – 8 March 2013.
This mission was sponsored locally by the Philippine College of Surgeons chapter in Northern Mindanao at the Xavier University Community Health Care Center. Because of the complexities and follow-up care needed for the procedures, WSF can only hold these missions in geographically desirable areas with adequate medical facilities and available specialists. Again, collaboration is the key.
Pull-through missions focus primarily on Hirschsprung’s disease and anorectal malformations/imperforate anus. Anorectal malformations occur once in every 4,500 live births and many of these defects can be corrected at birth or soon after. But in the Philippines sometimes all that can be done to save a child’s life is performing a colostomy. And these children are why the World Surgical Foundation exists. By holding these focused missions, WSF is able to completely change lives. Instead of staying home or being ashamed because they have a colostomy, children can go on to lead happy, normal lives.
WSF was able to help 16 patients including 2 young adults aged 19 and 26 who now have a second chance at life without a colostomy. In addition to teaching new techniques or showing how to correctly use a Peña Muscle Stimulator for detecting the location of the anus, Dr. Alvear also performed a rather uncommon procedure called a colon interposition. By taking a section of the colon and using it to bridge a gap between the esophagus and the stomach, Dr. Alvear was able to give this 1-year-old patient a working digestive system thus saving him from a lifetime of tube feedings.
Next stop for the World Surgical Foundation is Honduras in September 2013.
March 13, 2013
On Thursday, 28 February 2013, the World Surgical Foundation finished its surgical mission at Coron District Hospital on Busuanga Island in the province of Palawan, Philippines. This surgical mission was part of the Adopt Coron District Hospital Project begun on 4 December 2011.
In cooperation with the Philippine College of Surgeons, WSF performed 224 procedures including 110 minor surgeries, 50 OB/GYN, 41 general, 16 plastic and 7 pediatric. The 5-day mission in Coron proves the model of collaboration works successfully with equal numbers of WSF doctors and local Philippine counterparts represented. World Surgical Foundation could not have performed as many procedures alone. Without the Philippine College of Surgeons along with local anesthesiologists and nurses, WSF doctors would be working until well past midnight and have to turn patients away daily.
February 26, 2013
Monday was the first day of surgeries for the World Surgical Foundation mission in Coron, Palawan. The team arrived on schedule and spent much of the morning working out the logistics of the hospital, assigning duties for the volunteers and locating all of the equipment and supplies stored in various rooms.
Surgeries were scheduled to begin at 8:00 AM but many of the patients arrived later due to the long distances they had to travel. Other surgeries were delayed because patients did not fast 6-8 hours prior to their operations requiring anesthesia. Something as simple as a chicken nugget or the regular feeding of a baby pushed procedures off until the afternoon or next day.
OB/GYN cases were the first to begin at 8:30 AM with general following at 9:30. Pediatric and plastic surgery cases could not start until 1:30 PM waiting for the patients who ate or drank to be ready. But by the end of the day only one pediatric case had to be rescheduled. In total 77 procedures were performed including 42 minor surgeries, 22 OB/GYN plus 13 plastic and pediatric surgeries.
February 14, 2013
The World Surgical Foundation has shipped two 40 foot containers with equipment and supplies for hospitals where WSF will be stationed in the Philippines. The first container is bound for the Coron District Hospital in Coron, Palawan. WSF has donated needed medical supplies for up to 6 months as well as an electrosurgical generator, a pulse oximeter, two dental chairs and two anesthesia machines. The Dr. Fe Del Mundo Children’s Medical Center in Manila will receive the second container with an electrosurgical generator, a harmonic scalpel, an infant ventilator, two infant incubators, two dental chairs, two anesthesia machines and medical supplies. Each container is worth at least $100,000 and WSF is thankful for all the donations given by its partner organizations and contributors in this effort. And a special thanks goes out to all the warehouse volunteers without whom preparing these containers for shipment would be impossible.
WSF volunteers will embark on their next mission Thursday, 21 February 2013 winding their way across the globe to meet in Manila on Saturday, 23 February 2013 after crossing the International Date Line losing an entire day in the process. From there WSF will board local transport for Coron, Palawan. This mission at the Coron District Hospital will be World Surgical Foundations’s largest collaborative effort with WSF doctors being joined by an equal number of local doctors from the Philippines. WSF expects to screen 250 patients for the 5-day joint World Surgical Foundation and Philippine College of Surgeons mission from 24 to 28 February 2013.
Check back soon for updates and remember to Like Us on Facebook!
February 14, 2013
Sunday, 24 February 2013 was Day 1 of the World Surgical Foundation’s mission in the Philippines. After traveling for over 24 hours, not including the loss of a day thanks to the International Date Line, WSF volunteers were well rested and able to finish work that was started over a year before.
The World Surgical Foundation adopted Coron District Hospital on 4 December 2011 and this mission is the culmination of that endeavor. The 40 foot container sent to the hospital arrived in several truckloads. All of the boxed goods were already there when WSF arrived at the hospital on Sunday morning leaving two flatbeds filled with crates of all the heavy medical equipment. And since the hospital is located on a relatively undeveloped island in the Philippines there was no forklift. So with a hammer, a screwdriver and a lot of muscle, the doctors, nurses and volunteers along with local help unloaded the crates by hand and began to fully equip the hospital.
Coron District Hospital is the first hospital in the Philippines to be adopted by a foreign organization. WSF is using this hospital as a model for future adoptions to come. And this mission follows suit being the mold for the third and most important part of the World Surgical Foundation’s mission to collaborate. By adopting a hospital WSF is promising to be different than other medical organizations. Instead of doing drive-by missions to never return, WSF strives to make a real difference in the lives of the people they touch. Because WSF was able to send all the equipment that a modern hospital needs, Coron District Hospital can serve as a base for future missions not only by WSF but also by local Philippine doctors who can return with regularity.
Another part of collaboration is apparent with the equal contingent of local Philippine doctors on this surgical mission. By having local doctors come and join WSF, sustainable healthcare is achieved. Followup care is a must with many of the complicated, life-saving procedures performed by WSF so having local doctors available in the event of difficulties ensures patients will receive just that. And teaching the local doctors how to perform these same procedures makes it possible for WSF’s work to continue well beyond the dates of any given mission.
After finishing the setup of the ORs and stock rooms, Day 1 was complete. World Surgical Foundation did not have patients to screen because local doctors were able to do that before WSF arrived saving time and allowing our local counterparts to participate before the mission even began.
The day ended with a brief ceremony by Governor of Palawan, Abraham Kahlil B. Mitra, thanking the World Surgical Foundation for their generous donation, adopting the hospital and promising to continue providing needed help in the future.
Check back all week for updates and remember to Like Us on Facebook!
February 10, 2013
Friday, 25 January 2013, was the World Surgical Foundation’s last day in Khambhat, Gujarat, India serving patients of Cambay General Hospital at the 7-day Mega Surgical Camp.
WSF was able to perform at least 150 procedures with 141 accounted for as follows: 47 General Surgery, 31 Pediatric Surgery, 28 Plastic Surgery, 27 OB/GYN and 8 ENT. Some procedures were done under local anesthesia so patients went home without being counted.
On Friday morning WSF witnessed and participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Cardiac Cath Lab or Angioscopy Suite being built on hospital grounds.
The evening before WSF gathered with the hospital staff and a panel of doctors from the foundation along with the local hosts spoke briefly about the “Mega Surgical Camp”. Everybody agreed the mission was a great success and plans are being made for another one soon.
Friday night was definitely one of the highlights of the mission as WSF attended a celebration at the town square organized by the “Press Club Khambhat” for “Republic Day”. WSF was honored by the Press Club for holding the Mega Surgical Camp at Cambay General Hospital. The camp was locally supported by the Cardiac Care Center and Cambay General Hospital.
The next mission for the World Surgical Foundation will be 21 February to 2 March 2013 in Coron, Palawan, Philippines. Updates to follow…
January 23, 2013
Today is Thursday, Day 6. Mission Days 3, 4 and 5 have already come and gone. Approximately 110 surgeries have been performed successfully to date with 2 days left on the mission.
Business as usual for the World Surgical Foundation is not always smooth sailing. Even though WSF has been going on missions for over 15 years, each one has it’s own set of difficulties that need to be solved as they arise.
The first major problem on this mission was that WSF failed to bring two portable anesthesia machines for backup because there were not enough general anesthesia machines. We were expecting 4 general anesthesia machines but upon arrival it turned out there were 3 available and only 2 were in full working order with the 3rd one missing its vaporizer.
But this became a “blessing in disguise” because we had to perform pediatric procedures using spinal anesthesia instead of general which we have never done before. And as a result our patient output increased thanks to a shorter turnover time. Pediatric patients under general take approximately 25-30 minutes to wake up before the next case can be started. Spinal on the other hand takes only 10 minutes or less to go into PACU. This discovery will help future missions because now we can use spinal anesthesia in place of general allowing WSF to take care of more pediatric patients whether or not there are enough general anesthesia machines.
Another problem we face is our equipment breaking. Since WSF relies on donations, each machine is precious. But sometimes machines will stop working unexpectedly. On the first day of surgery we lost two machines. The first one to go was our SurgiStat portable electro-surgical generator. More than likely somebody plugged it directly into a local power source but since this machine only operates at 110V, it didn’t stand a chance smoking itself at the first opportunity. Better labeling and having a step-down transformer packed with the machine will be our saving grace next mission. But the biggest loss this trip has been the Ultracision harmonic scalpel, a very costly unit. Dr. Alvear was able to perform 3 cases with the harmonic before it could no longer do its job. Why it stopped working is still a mystery that can only be solved when we bring the unit back to the United States.
The loss of both of these machines does not mean we cannot continuing working. Thankfully hospitals in the US throw away battery operated pencil tip cautery instruments after one use which is a huge waste. WSF accepts and resterilizes these once-used instruments for missions as they last a long time past the first use. We were able to use these instruments in place of the larger machines and there were also two local electro-surgical generators available to go along with the one remaining unit we brought. The local surgeons now want WSF to leave whatever pencil tip cautery instruments are still usable and we promised to send them more in the near future along with another electro-surgical generator.
There are 40 or so cases left to do by Friday unless more come out of the woodwork. Today looks like it’s going to be the busiest day of the week since we are finishing up early tomorrow to pack.
January 22, 2013
Day 2 of the mission ended at 5:30 PM with a quick and chaotic ride to the beach for Dariyai (seashore) Uttarayan. Uttarayan occurs on the 14th or 15th of January when the sun begins to travel northward and rise earlier. Indians of all ages in the state of Gujarat celebrate Uttarayan with a festival of kites from dawn until dusk. On the first Sunday following the 14th, citizens of Khambhat gather at the seashore for Dariyai Uttarayan. Here you can see thousands of people, young and old, rich and poor, Hindu and Muslim, flying kites of all shapes, sizes and colors together in one place.
As the sun was setting bonfires of fallen kites started to appear all over the beach and fireworks were shot off in celebration. Sky lanterns were also being launched and littered the night like fireflies. Darkness fell upon us and the mass of humanity started working their way home so we followed suit returning to the guest house for a rooftop dinner before turning in for a well deserved rest.
January 20, 2013
The World Surgical Foundation mission to India is well underway. All participants have made it safely to India whether by transatlantic flight through Abu Dhabi or via polar route to Dubai arriving at Ahmedabad Airport around 3 to 4 AM Saturday morning local time.
We traveled by bus to Khambhat going directly to Cambay General Hospital. Upon arrival we had a small breakfast, familiarized ourselves with the hospital layout and separated medical bags from personal ones before going to the “Guest House” for a short rest and freshening up. There was little time to waste as screening, unpacking and setup was scheduled for that afternoon. All available patients were screened and the ORs and supply room were set up by 5 PM. We returned “home” for another respite before dinner at 8 PM and Day 1 in India was complete.
Day 2 began this morning at 6:30 AM. The short ride to the hospital was quicker due to the lack of pre-dawn traffic as the bustling street in front of the guest house was empty as a ghost town. All patients scheduled were ready to go so after a quick breakfast surgeries started at 9 AM. Screening will continue this afternoon between 3 and 5 PM to fill out the week. Lunch will be served shortly at 12:30 PM before the surgery day continues…