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The New Adventures of Hayley Goldbach (’15): A Week in Haiti

Cropped-img_07061Beforeshe fully dives into the communications piece of the NBC News Global Health and Media Fellowship (next stop: India), Perelman School of Medicinestudent Hayley Goldbach scrubbed in for a few procedures at the L’Hopital Bernard Mevs in Haiti.

Ina second blog post for this series, Hayley shares her experiences of theweek she spent in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Delivering a placenta! Sewing a knifewound victim—and his attacker!

Checkout some excerpts and photosfrom Hayley’s blog below:

June 9, 2013:

Hereand Happy

Afteran uneventful flight I have arrived at L’Hopital Bernard Mevs- which isliterally minutes from the airport in Port-au-Prince. It has already been suchan amazing experience and I am most shocked by how much French I remember. Imean, I still probably sound like a preschooler with a serious head injury buta lot of it has come back and others sometimes ask me to translate.

Iam working in the pediatric ward this weekend and I’ve already made about 7 newbest friends ranging in age from a 1 year old with serious hydrocephalus to a 9year old who loves to write the letter S. He was my favorite because he calledme over “ey-lee!” and then when I asked him what he wanted he whisperedsomething in my ear in French. After a couple of attempts I realized that hewas tattling on his neighbor, an 8 year old who had removed the oxygen tubingfrom his nose. Adorbs.

Itwasn’t all sunshine, though…..Readmore here.

June12, 2013


Imag2546Afterthings died down around 8pm a few of us threw on flip flops and headed to theroof of the hospital. We heard a woman wailing and some sort of commotionoutside the gates. Lo and behold it was a woman in labor. She made it all theway to the hospital only to give birth literally right outside our gate. A foreffort? We saw a healthy looking infant handed off to someone and the woman wasescorted inside in a wheelchair. Because we are not an Obstetrics hospital, wedon’t do births… but you can hardly turn someone away who literally went intolabor on your threshold.

Allof a sudden we hear someone yell, “does anyone know how to properly deliver aplacenta?” It was like a batsignal…what every med student dreams of….Readmore here.

June 14, 2013

Daily tragedies

And again, the embodiment ofthe roller coaster of working in a developing country. The day after the babywas born we had a baby die. He came in unresponsive and I helped the residentrun the code until others arrived. Despite aggressive measures, we couldn’tbring him back. I did several rounds of CPR on him which involves chestcompressions. It is such a sickening feeling to push on a baby’s chest,especially when you know how dire the situation is.

The next day was even worse….Read more here.

June 16, 2013

All hands on deck

Working in a resource poorsetting is very much an all hands on deck type of experience. But as a medicalstudent, I am often aware of my limitations. It’s strange. In some ways I amawed by how much I’ve learned. I know that I would be totally overwhelmed if Ihad come here as a first year or even a year ago. And yet, I wish that I werean attending or resident or a nurse or respiratory therapist- someone who canspeak with confidence about something…anything. Currently I’m an expert atcutting tape and memorizing molecular pathways.

Img_0531But the truth is that we allhave something to contribute. Even me. And not just placenta catching! Besideshaving a bit of derm knowledge (which came in handy today…more about that inanother post), turns out I am one of the more experienced suture-ers on theteam. Which means that I got to teach a bit (!!) and that when he had a knifefight victim…it was up to me to sew his laceration. We called an ear, nose andthroat specialist because the cut extended to his lip but the surgeon wasunimpressed and told me to do it. I did it and heaved a sigh of relief that itlooked OK…

And then the “other guy” (hisvictim? His attacker? Who knows) came in…Read more here.

Check back for Hayley’s firstIndia blog post. She’s off to the World Health Organization in New Delhi.

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