Monday, March 1, 2010

C-arm Arrives

It was an emotional moment when our OEC 9600 C-arm arrived today at the Hopital Adventist d'Haiti. It was on the night of Jan 14 just after my arrival in Port au Prince, less than 48 h after the earthquake that I sent Dr. Jim Matiko a brief message that he should start looking for a C-arm and get it down here as quickly as possible. For those of you who do not know - this is a machine that can give us instantaneous radiographic images. Since their inception in the 1970's they have revolutionized orthopaedic surgery. Seeing the magnitude of the orthopaedic problems, and knowing the time involved in making a transaction of this nature I knew it would be important to initiate the process ASAP. Now less than 7 weeks after the 7.0 we will be able to greatly expand our surgical spectrum. We have a 75 year old man named Albert who was admitted 2 days ago with an intertrochanteric hip fracture who will be the first beneficiary of this new technology tomorrow morning. Even before the arrival of this machine we have been able to do procedures available at few other hospitals in Port au Prince. Because of our long history, our current operations and stability as well as our long term vision we are increasingly becoming a center for advanced orthopaedic procedures. Thanks to the Arrowhead Orthopaedic Group and other donors we have now taken a major step towards fulfilling our vision as a center of excellence.

It was quite a task unloading this monolith. The first image taken was a thumbs up of my right hand. The Haitians were amazed by the technology and one said "where ever the Americans are people will live". We also have a beautiful printer to print the images which the patients keep with their medical record for follow up care.