Today with Aim Abroad our medical volunteers went to the local pediatric hospital in India for volunteer work. When they arrived at the hospital, they looked over the medical charts of the patients in the In Patient Department as they waited for the head doctor to arrive at the hospital. After reviewing all of the charts, the volunteers got to know the doctors and staff in the hospital, and shortly after the head doctor arrived. A team of doctors and volunteers went around the hospital to do rounds, and the doctor described why and when each patient had been admitted, the treatment to the patients, and progress of the patient. Then, the head doctor went to his office with the volunteers, and the Out Patient Department's hours began. Many patients came to visit the doctor, and the volunteers helped the doctor by taking the patients' temperatures, weights, measurements, blood pressures, and listening with a stethoscope to the patients' lungs. Also, the doctor explained each case, if there was any extraordinary case rather than the usual cough and cold symptoms, which many of these infants and young children have at the hospital.
In particular, the volunteers described they saw three cases where the infants' heart was not fully developed. There is a condition where all of the chambers of the heart are not completely isolated from one another, and so oxygenated and deoxygenated blood mixes and is sent to the rest of the body. The patients survive this abnormality, but surgery is advised very early on to fix the problem, as mixing of the blood does have very serious health consequences. The volunteers commented particularly that these patients had similar symptoms: when they observed the patients' tongue, fingernails, eyes, and such the skin color was a characteristic blue color for patients with this heart abnormality. Also, the doctor explained that the shape of the fingers and toes were characteristically club-shaped, which was also apparent to the volunteers. The volunteers described that they had a great day, and look forward to learning more as the volunteer with Aim Abroad.