THE FULL MANTE Vol 11, No 6 – All the News To Print That Fits – February 5, 2009

By Jean Bedell
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jean1There are not only objective criteria involved in whom we treat.  There are also subjective and ethical considerations.  As of this morning, eyes had only 10 slots open for Friday.  Within a short time, there were only 6 slots left.  Yesterday, 297 patients were screened in the one day.  Considerations when triaging patients include 1)  bilateral cataracts, 2) age, with a focus on mothers caring for young children or young men working to support a family and 3) diabetic complications.  For example, 50yo Hector is a tractor driver and is blind.  Will cataract surgery allow him to return to work, or is there retinal damage which, because of diabetes, will not provide vision even with surgery?  Andres, 43yo was given one of the last slots so he can return to work selling papers and sweeping streets. Continue reading “THE FULL MANTE Vol 11, No 6 – All the News To Print That Fits – February 5, 2009”

THE FULL MANTE Vol 11, No 5 – All the News To Print That Fits – February 4, 2009

By Jean Bedell
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It was a life-saving event. A first time event never seen before, Samanatha went from the lab at the clinic to a locked storeroom looking for a table. She heard a rustling noise coming from a black trash bag. Upon examination, she found a little blue-green parakeet. Mouth to beak resuscitation was not needed. A cardboard home was designed with architectural perfection. Water and seed arrived. Now we just need a good foster home or adoptive family for Bruise Cotorra.

Pregnancy tests can bring either joyful or sad news. One woman who wanted to become pregnant had a negative test. A 15 yo girl tested positive and is fearful of the stigma and ridicule attached to her. Continue reading “THE FULL MANTE Vol 11, No 5 – All the News To Print That Fits – February 4, 2009”

THE FULL MANTE Vol 11, No 4 – All the News To Print That Fits – February 3, 2009

Today’s message read “the grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, something to hope for.”  Howard, PACU’s team builder- nurse extraordinaire, posts daily missions on the scheduling board.  Today at the Hospital General the surgical teams, PACU, the bio-medical technicians, triage nurses and assistants, and the sterile processing department (SPD) assistants started their days early and began patient care before 8:00 am.    With sixteen beds open for patient recovery, PACU was ready to take a full load of patients.

In the OR, the life of a tiny three month old Pablo was changed by an hour long surgery that corrected his cleft lip.  As he was brought into recovery, his mother and subsequently all of the nurses burst into tears of joy.  Next year he will have his cleft palate repaired.  This IS life changing because it affects nutrition, speech and language development, peer and social acceptance for him.

There are words of appreciation that bring tears, even without the drama of surgery.  At the end of work yesterday, Laurel and Margie welcomed 43 yo Maria.  They filled seven prescriptions for her… medicines she would not have been able to afford.  She burst into tears of joy, “because of you, my whole day is beautiful.”  “It’s why we are here,” was the response.

Of course, there are moments of humor.  Erick looked at the wooden, worn-down, too-long, crutch with no rubber tip 67 yo Magda was using.  “It’s too long…wouldn’t you like a new one?”  “No, I like it.”  “Well, maybe you will grow some more.”

Victoria, a 17 year old girl, came to the hospital with a 2.5 kilo (5.5 pound!) noncancerous growth under her arm.  All she wished for was to be able to wear a dress like all of the other girls in her village.  Yesterday she travelled an hour in the back of a pick-up truck and then a six hour bus ride to Mante.  Tomorrow she will return home with her wish granted.

Here’s some more interesting and useful info about DIF.  Every morning DIF provides a free hot meal for every school child.  Sometimes it is their only meal for the day. We learned it is illegal to not allow kids to attend school if they cant speak.  On a different focus, DIF provides free birth control pills.

Some situations we cannot help.  Some congenital anomalies are not ‘fixable.’  It may be enough to provide reassurance for the parents that they are doing the best possible.  And, occasionally there is an angry response.  Yolanda, 52yo, came demanding a prostheses.  We no longer have any to give.  She stated that all of her friends had received one, she deserved one, and we should supply them.  Again, thanks go to DIF who will provide these for poor women living in Mante.

Every year “The Perfect Person’ comes for a ‘useless’ piece of equipment.  43yo Pedro lost both legs in an accident.  He supports himself shining shoes at the plaza.  He has been using a broken-down chair.  PT had one wheelchair with no legs, and a Jay-pad, used to prevent pressure sores.  Pedro has no use for a chair with legs, and the Jay-pad was a perfect fit for his size and needs.

What does ENT stand for?  Maybe it is ‘Ear, Nose, and Toes.’  Sarg went from a T&A to next remove a baseball-sized dermoid cyst from the foot of 78yo Patricio.  Now he can wear his dancing shoes. Because of some problems, OR didn’t finish till 10:00pm last night.  Hopefully that will not recur. The flexibility of folks here is amazing.  The results of our work bring tears of gratitude.

Adios from your reporters Abby and Jean

THE FULL MANTE Vol 11, No 3 – All the News To Print That Fits – February 2, 2009

The word is out that the 19th Medical Campaign is in full swing. Crowds of patient patients waited at the three venues: Cruz Roja, Escuela Enfermera, Hospital General. The sun shone to greet us, too. There are so many persons of need, it is sometimes hard to focus on our MISSION STATEMENT:


A serious situation with the Eye Team is missing supplies. A box of VISCO-ELASTIC, Ocucoat brand has never shown up. This is essential for cataract surgery. Jenelle, the Eye Team Lead, will try to get an additional donation of this, valued at $70 per dose. If none can be provided, it may affect the numbers of surgeries that can be performed. (Check your departmental supplies to see if there is a weird box).

New gadgets for use in Mante include an Automated Keratometer. It measures the cornea/surface of the eye and checks for astigmatism. An A-Scan measures how long the eye is. It cuts down on the time needed for these evaluations. Zury is a great help for the team.

Interesting pathology found this year includes basal cell carcinoma and corneal problems. The latter cannot be repaired here. There are disappointments, too. Juan came in for a cataract repair that caused blindness. But, the vision loss was due to glaucoma, not cataract. Neal B had to report that this was not reversible.

Out of the cave and into the light…fitting for reading glasses now has a bright room with great lights. Most persons are so thankful to get glasses, but some style mavens are looking for different colors or designs.

At the Hospital General many patients arrived bright and early to wait for their scheduled surgical appointments. Day one of surgery began as nurses, surgeons, and anesthesiologist formed teams to help patients with a plethora of symptoms.

Joel and his brother came from a small village two hours outside of Mante to receive treatment in tandem. Joel had an obstruction in his nasal passage and was receiving a third and hopefully final surgery. In good spirits his brother patiently waited, looking forward to his appointment at Cruz Roja on Wednesday to remove his cataract.

In the waiting room (or hall), Perla awaited a routine gal bladder surgery. However during triage, the nurse identified a small kidney stone. Perla decided to go forward with the arthroscopic surgery to remover her gall bladder immediately, during which Dr. Charlie would also try to identify if the kidney stone could also be removed with a minimally invasive procedure.

A small five year old boy was born with hemi facial microsomal, a malformed jaw and earlobe. Although he was too young to receive surgery this year, his face needed matured, his family was educated about the jaw expansion surgery that will happen next year, and the three ear reconstruction surgeries to follow.

Oh, my. Why so many referrals from GYN to PT at the Clinic? It seems as if many women have leakin’ bladders. PT instructs them in the famous Kegel maneuver. A comment was made that if you are in the line at the supermarket in Boulder and there are many women over 40, they are all doing Kegel!

There are angels in our midst. These include Sr Karim y Sra Nora. As their mission, each day they provide breads and coffee at Cruz Roja for any hungry folk. 80-100 people come for this feast.

Gracias from your reporters Jean and Abby

THE FULL MANTE Vol 11, No 2 – All the News To Print That Fits – February 1, 2001

There is always hub-bub on Saturday morning. The dignitaries, the press, the DIF persons all gather near the podium on the lawns of the “La Escuela Enfermeria” or the Nursing Schoo1. We celebrated the opening of Brigada Medica XIX…our 19th year in Cd. Mante. At 10:15, the procession started down the center aisle. It included the Dr. Davkd Rodriquez, Mante Presidente, Hector Lopez, Secretary of Health Juan Guillermo Manzur Arzola from Tamp State, Mayors from five near-by referral cities, Dr Silvia Elena de la Garza de Lopez president of DIF, and, of course Sr. Mike Moran.

Speeches ranged from 2 to 15 minutes, and included warm words of welcome with the belief that “Gratitude is a Memory of the Heart” and that “Languages nor distances can support this humanistic bond.” More than 5,000 patients have already signed in. Each message was easily understood with the simultaneous translation to English.


Since he lost both legs in an accident, Manuel uses a wheelchair. Today he came not for himself, but for his father. His father may have had a stroke and now has balance problems. But here’s what is amazing. Manuel supports himself repairing computers. But, he is on a Handicap Basketball team which came in second place for the national competition for all of Mexico! What an achievement.

Dave in GYN commented that as a first-timer, there is no one here to show him the ropes. The good side of this is, anything he does is OK. At 4:00 he still had a line of women waiting. This year there is only one exam table instead of two, which obviously slows the process of seeing women.

Can it be a new epidemic? I don’t think so, but peds is seeing a lot of ventral hernias.

What a blessing it is to have Dra. Moreno Bringas here from Tampico. An oncologist, she works with women with breast cancer. She is unhurried and thorough seeing and talking with women and examining them. A group of women watched the video she showed about self-examination and early diagnosis of breast cancer. She will be here tomorrow (Sunday) and has also been an inspiration for the formation of a breast cancer support group here.

Each year, Magda an OR Nurse, and I have fitted 10-12 women with prostheses. During the year, Magda works with an additional 10-12 women. My source for donated prostheses has gone. Women we saw today are using rolled up socks or plastic cups. Here’s great news: DIF has offered to pay for prostheses (about $30-$50 each) for women living in Mante who cannot afford to buy their own.

Before and after visits to the general physicians, many families and children stopped to learn from our dietician Elizabeth and student nurses about daily habits to help reduce the likelihood and effects of diabetes. With children running around the nursing school grounds, every bit of education will help reduce the likelihood of more diabetes cases.

Hasta manana from your reporters, Abigale Stangl and Jean Bedell