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Aug 8, 2013

GECC using low-tech solutions to save lives!

Volunteer MD with ECP Richard using ultrasound
Volunteer MD with ECP Richard using ultrasound

Rural Uganda is considered  a "low resource" setting.  One-third of the residents living in the area of Nyakibale Hospital, where GECC works, have no access to clean water.  Electricity is unreliable and intermittent, where present at all, and the Hospital often has to rely on back-up generators to run the ER and OR. 

Despite these constraints, GECC and its Emergency Care Practitioner (ECP) training program, have creatively and cost-effectively used relatively low-tech devices to provide high quality medical care.  Since "CAT scans" and "MRIs", routinely used in the US to help diagnose emergent conditions in patients, are not available, GECC has trained ECPs in the use of bedside portable ultrasounds.  Due to focused training provided by GECC, the ECPs have become so adept with the use of ultrasound that their skills surpass most emergency trained physicians in the US.  With this skill, they have been able to diagnose life threatening conditions including internal bleeding in trauma patients, ectopic pregnancies in women, and bowel obstructions in children.  The ECPs have then been able to initiate emergent life-saving care!

Once again, GECC would like to thank you for your support of this important work.  In a region where people don't even have running water and electricity, it is amazing that these people CAN get emergency medical care due to your generous help.  Please consider renewing your donation and spreading the word about our work to continue helping those who need it most!

Our sincere thanks,

The GECC team

an infant scale
an infant scale
ECPs and nursing students learning to read Xrays
ECPs and nursing students learning to read Xrays
May 5, 2013

Happy Mother's Day to mothers around the world!

Limited means of travel lead to dangerous injuries
Limited means of travel lead to dangerous injuries

As Mother's Day approaches and we take time to reflect on how much we appreciate our mothers, we at GECC wanted to share with you a report from the field about some mothers whose lives were recently saved due to GECC's Emergency Care Practitioners (ECPs) in Uganda.

Report from the Field

Recently, a group of passengers were traveling on the back of a truck and fell out. (See attached picture for an example of this dangerous travel which is the only option for many.) Five patients were brought simultaneously to the Nyakibale Hospital's 5-bed ER where GECC has trained emergency care providers. Of the 5 patients, one woman had a lung collapse, one man had a broken leg, one man had an ankle injury and 2 women had abdominal injuries. They were all given emergency care, and they all survived and are doing well. Here's what GECC's volunteer physician who was assisting the ECPs reported back:

"A few things about this night really stood out to me as remarkable:

  • Every patient received the appropriate care in a timely manner. 
  • The ECPs worked really well together dividing the responsibilities.
  • The ED was calm and quiet. While there were many patients with potentially life-threatening injuries that would make me sweat, the ECPs had the situation under control  The ED was so quiet that we realized we could still hear the Christian music playing off the research computer throughout the whole ordeal!
  • The ECPs are amazing!! Alfunsi, Irene, and Richard, after only 1 year of training are able to manage a critical and stressful situation. Jovita was a great leader. She allowed the ECPs to do their work, but she had a great overview of the whole situation. She was able to delegate duties and even directed the visiting doctors to the patients that needed some extra help. 

At the end of the night we were all in awe of this amazing group of clinicians. They were poised, competent, and compassionate. This incident (among many others) made me feel really grateful and proud to be part of the GECC family!"

- Meera Muru, MD, GECC Volunteer Physician

Pre-hospital Training Program a Success!

In addition to this amazing story, GECC is proud to share with you news of the successful completion of its first Emergency First Responder training program! There is no 9-1-1 system in rural Uganda, no ambulances, and no paramedics. In order to improve emergency care prior to arrival to the hospital, local stakeholders and GECC collaborated to develop a training program for community and clinic health workers. These trainings were conducted in March and were well-received. We are confident that this training will help save even more lives by getting patients emergency care earlier and linking them to available resources!

 

Thank you again for your support of GECC's work and being part of the solution to improve emergency care where none exists.  Please consider renewing your donation and spreading the word about our work to continue helping those who need it most!

Our sincere thanks,

The GECC team

GECC's training for community health workers
GECC's training for community health workers
Training prehospital providers in emergency care
Training prehospital providers in emergency care
Feb 13, 2013

ECP Graduation

Valentine's Day is here!  As you are thinking about your loved ones, we, at Global Emergency Care Collaborative, wanted to update you on the work that is so near and dear to our "hearts".  

GECC is proud to announce the "graduation" of its newest six trainees!  Alfunsi, Irene, Hillary, Richard, Serena, and Christine have graduated from the junior ("student") level to the senior ("teacher") level.  To honor this achievement, they celebrated in a graduation ceremony in January.  They will now solidify their new emergency care skills over the next year through clinical work and peer education.  After they complete their senior year, they will become fully qualified Emergency Care Practitioners (ECPs), fully adept at independently diagnosing and treating emergency patients who desperately need their help!

The work these ECPs are doing is truly amazing.  An 11 month old boy was seen in the Emergency Department in December with bloody diarrhea.  One of the ECPs recognized that the child could have an emergency condition called "intussusception" which is a telescoping of the bowel.  She did a bedside ultrasound and confirmed the diagnosis and got the child to surgery.  One of the Ugandan doctors wrote us, 

"What I find interesting is ECP's thought of the need for an abdominal ultra sound despite the absence of abdominal pain or distention. Without bed side ultrasound this boy could have been treated as a case of dysentery and would most likely deteriorate.  Thanks for the great work in the ED"

Without the ECPs, this child would be another statistic, another one of the nearly 7 million children who needlessly died last year.  But thanks to the ECPs, thanks to GECC, and THANKS TO YOU, his life was saved.  Thank you again for being part of the solution, and please consider renewing your donation and spreading the word about our work to continue helping those who need it most!

Our sincere thanks,

The GECC team

 
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