Nuzvid, India, February 2005
Gifford Memorial Hospital
Della Bennett, MD
5th Year Plastic Surgery Resident
Loma Linda University Medical Center
In 2003, Operation Good Samaritan partnered with Adventist Health International to provide surgical support for some of its mission hospitals. Adventist Health International maintains relationships with missionary hospitals throughout the world, and roughly 30 hospitals in India. In February of 2004, Duncan Miles, MD, FRCSC, a member of the Department of Plastic Surgery at Loma Linda University, on behalf of Operation Good Samaritan, met with staff and reviewed the facilities at Gifford Memorial Hospital (GMH) in Nuzvid, India.
GMH has been serving the community of Nuzvid and the surrounding area for over 75 years. A donation of land and money to the hospital in 1997 allowed a full-service hospital to be built. The hospital has a general/trauma surgeon, ophthalmologist, and pediatrician. During this initial visit, Dr. Miles identified a need for secondary burn reconstruction and hand surgery.
Operation Good Samaritan's goals are threefold:
Over the past few years GMH has experienced administrative difficulties that have slowed the hospital's work. A secondary goal of our trip was to bring confidence to the staff and patients in the hospital's mission of providing excellent care. Our hope was to establish ties with the local physicians, new hospital administration, and community to lay a foundation for future team visits.
The Outreach Team
From Operation Good Samaritan
From Gifford Memorial Hospital
To arrive in Nuzvid at GMH, the team traveled twenty three hours by plane, ten hours by train, and two hours by van. Within an hour of arriving we began rounding on patients to identify appropriate candidates for our surgical team. Dr. Rao, the trauma/general surgeon, had pre-admitted patients and performed preoperative evaluations to assure suitability for surgery. During our five days at GMH new patients were continuously arriving at the hospital and hoping to be selected for surgery. Many of these potential patients heard about the surgical mission from a flyer the hospital distributed.
During our stay we completed 20 surgeries without complications (15 burn reconstructions/contracture release, three cleft lip, and two joint fusions. We donated a table-top pulse oximeter to be used for monitoring of patients in the operating room during surgery, as previously the patients were only being monitored with intermittent blood pressure readings. To avoid taxing the hospital resources, we bought or brought with us the majority of the supplies we needed for our surgeries.