October 13, 2015 – The Neuro Team is Now Complete


The Neuro Team is Now Complete…

It rained overnight and into the morning so our daily walk was out for the day. We all showed up for morning report to hear about the new cases from Dr. Ann, who was on overnight. There were four new cases that they wanted out input on and we immediately went to work. The first case was the mother of the premature baby who had eclampsia ten days prior and, unfortunately, it appears that she had likely suffered a stroke as she was not moving her right side at all and it had been much too long since her delivery and seizures to be related. Hopefully, with aggressive blood pressure control she might improve, but not likely. Meanwhile, her 26 week premature baby is doing amazingly well despite weighing in at well less than one kilo.

Even though our neuro clinic wasn’t supposed to start until tomorrow, the patients began to roll in by early morning and before we even see all the inpatients, I had to break off to start see the outpatients lest they continue to stack up throughout the morning. Thu, our final neurology resident to arrive, and Cara, our EEG tech, made it here by late morning and I put Thu to work seeing patients along with Ali before lunch.

Later, after lunch Cara, Danielle and Lindsay began to work on unpacking and assembling the EEG machine we had brought here to use. It’s quite a complicated process to hook all the cables back up and after a few anxious moments when we weren’t sure it was going to work for us, it finally ran through all of it’s code and seemed to like what it found.

Lindsay, Cara and Danielle after success with the EEG machine

Lindsay, Cara and Danielle after success with the EEG machine

Tomorrow, they will begin to use the machine which will enable us to more accurately diagnosis and treat epilepsy patients here at FAME. It will be a huge accomplishment to successfully implement EEG technology here as it is otherwise available in Northern Tanzania only at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center in Moshi, a good four hours away. We will be training two nurses to provide EEG services here at FAME in our absence and we will be reading the studies back in Pennsylvania.

A young epilepsy patient, Dorthea, who I have seen for the last four years came in again today with her mother. She continues to do quite well and is so much happier now with fewer seizures.

My young epilepsy patient, Dorthea

My young epilepsy patient, Dorthea

Dorthea's mother

Dorthea’s mother

We finished the patients for the afternoon and all piled into the Land Cruiser for a visit downtown. Karatu is such a colorful village with lots of businesses and people filling the streets. There is lots of activity going on all around you. We returned home for our chapati with vegetables and beans for dinner and a quiet evening of typing blogs and reading.

Tomorrow will be our formal neuro clinic her at FAME and it will likely be very busy. We will have two neuro teams seeing patients and the epilepsy team seeing epilepsy patients specifically and now having access to EEG data. This is definitely an exciting time to have the neuro team here as well as Fima who will helping with the medicine patients and the general ward service.

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