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Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Clinic pays off again....

Unexpectedly, I needed the clinic today. Each week we have at least one need for the clinic just from our own visitors and crew. Today, unexpectedly, I became the most serious trauma case to date.

Lele pulled up with the tractor complaining about the mower. So, we got the mower off and the blades were really blunt. So we decided to remove and sharpen them. Seeing that they were so blunt that they were worn as smooth as a bald man's head, I took hold of the blade and applied the socket set. What I had not seen was that the blade had shattered on the other side and was sharper than a razor blade. The slice into my left palm was deep, and the pain shot up my arm.

With Lele and two of the new students watching the blood spurted, and started to pour. I immediately applied direct pressure and called for the vehicle to take me to the MoM Helen Himsworth Mini-Clinic on the other side of the airfield.

The option to got the nearest hospital, and taking a four to six hour round trip ran through my mind. However, Patricia opened the clinic and as I released the hand pressure over the sink - the blood ran thick, deep red and in rivers. It was probably the second worst cut I have ever had. In an ideal world I would reach for a suture, but we do not have sutures in stock yet. We only have the 3M brand self adhesive butterfly type stitches With the hand cleaned and the flap of skin and tissue looking like a fresh baby butterfly steak, it was time to try to get it all together. The first two butterfly stitches simply washed off as the blood oozed under their adhesive. A bit more alcohol to clean the skin and six more stitches applied quickly and the skin looked like it would hold.

Fortunately, we also have some op-site in stock, not only would it hold it all together, but also provide a sterile environment to the wound site - especially since the TV crew from ZDF Germany had just arrived too, and those blades needed sharpened still... and the show must go on! Two pain killers, a clean bandage over the hand and some tongue depressor splints to prevent the hand flexing... and the rest of the day ran as normal (but the ZDF film shows me with a big white bandage on my left hand!)

The availability of appropriate supplies, in a clean environment without the time delay, and associated risks, of getting to the nearest hospital, seems to have yielded a positive result once again.

The best moment came as I returned to the workshop and Deborah came up to me and stated 'You should have worn gloves - you need to remember your appropriate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)! At least we provide practical training and real life incidents (but wish to avoid any more personal injuries!) and for a student from the village to have the confidence to tell me that I did it wrong, after less than three months, is amazing!

It is clear that the mini-clinic is going to be have a massive impact next year, as Marcel, and others, come out and provide the extra training to ensure that it provides a service to those in need in an even more timely and efficient manner.

Thank you to all who have helped get the clinic ready - I personally appreciate it today!

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