Greetings, and wishes for a happy and healthy new year for one and all from Kathmandu, Nepal.
The workweek for the Nepalese Plastic Surgeons is six days a week with only Saturday off and few vacations. New Years is not one of them.
In a few minutes, it will be 2018. We spent Sunday, New Year’s Eve, working from morning to evening at the Nepal Burn and Plastic Surgical Center.
As a small compact team and due to the excellence of the surgeons and medical staff, our team split up immediately working independently where most needed.
Today, I screened with three plastic surgeons about 30+ new and follow up patients from recent surgeries, and consulted on more in the wards.
Simultaneously, Gary operated with two other plastic surgeons on a large acute burn doing debridement and skin grafting while Sam and two other anesthesiologists exchanged practice techniques while performing anesthesia for this case. Beth was immediately put to work with three physical therapists making multiple splints, demonstrating their first experience with serial plaster casting for burn contractures, and within a short session had a man who had to walk with assistance by hopping on one leg while two family members supported him, walked out on his own giving high fives with a huge smile on his face. Sean worked with the critical care nurses.
It was a great day. Tomorrow, New Year’s Day we leave at 7:00 am for daily rounds of patients, will give two didactic lectures a day, and then spend all day in the OR and seeing new patients as time allows.
This is true medicine where it is needed most in the world. In 2015 not one patient with a 40% or more burn survived (many died) despite having a 90% survival rate in most developed countries.
The doctors are bright and well trained, but not in Acute burn care and are desperate to improve their ability to help others to their maximal ability. Plasticos Foundation has a lot to be proud of in taking on this new challenge with attendant risk unmet by other medical organizations. We ARE making a difference and we all should feel so proud of what we have accomplished thus far.
Happy New Year.
Larry Nichter, MD, MS, FACS, FAAP
President, Plasticos Foundation