Volunteers help victims of earthquake using portable ultrasound

Anaesthetists used a SonoSite point-of-care ultrasound system while treating victims of the Nepal earthquakes.

Vast areas of Nepal were destroyed by a magnitude 7.8 earthquake in April of this year, leaving local doctors trying to cope with huge numbers of seriously injured patients requiring urgent treatment.  A second earthquake followed shortly afterwards, with further casualties.  Andreas Brodbeck explained: “In the wake of the disaster, Nepalese doctors faced an overwhelming workload, and so a team of consultants from James Paget University Hospital, supported by the hospital and the charity Nepal in Need, offered their services to help treat orthopaedic patients at Kirtipur Hospital in Kathmandu.  Although Kirtipur is actually Nepal’s main plastic surgery hospital, after the first earthquake it became a trauma centre.  Knowing that regional anaesthesia would be beneficial to the hospital and its patients, I took a SonoSite point-of-care ultrasound system with me, along with some local anaesthetics and needles.

“Point-of-care ultrasound proved invaluable. T he instrument’s robustness, size and weight made it easy to transport, and I used it from the first day to the last, administering regional anaesthesia to a patient in the recovery room while another was undergoing surgery.  The Nepalese anaesthetists were fascinated and quickly learnt the technique.  It’s such a wonderful way to give an anaesthetic; patients are pain free, experience fewer side effects and recover faster.  You can perform reliable blocks one after the other, eliminating the need for a general anaesthetic, and the onset of anaesthesia is much faster.”

See the full report on page 10 of the November 2015 issue of RAD Magazine.

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