Thursday, May 13, 2010

Volunteering at the Hospital

Today at the pediatric hospital some volunteers saw several interesting cases. Most of the patients, as usual, were having common cough or cold symptoms. The volunteers also saw two cases of tuberculosis patients, one recovering, and the other still receiving treatment. The patient receiving treatment was suspected to have diphtheria: Diphtheria is a virtually nonexistent disease in advanced countries in the west; however, in very rural or unhygienic parts of India it is not uncommon to come across a diagnosis of the disease. Today, the doctor confirmed that the disease was actually tuberculosis, after checking the patient's blood work. Otherwise, there was a case of bronchitis, and a few cases of pneumonia. The doctor explained that the weather had changed fairly rapidly, and the hospital always becomes more busy when the weather has such sudden changes. Most of the patients come for the out-patient department, but in the morning, the volunteers go on rounds with the doctors for the in-patient department. Unless a case is severe, the doctor gives suggestions to the patient's parents about treatment and dietary restrictions during the treatment period, and the patient will go home. Generally, the doctor can see around 100-200 patients a day in the out-patient department, depending on how busy the hospital is on a given day. The doctor who works at the ultrasound clinic also stops by this pediatric hospital if there is a patient who needs an ultrasound examination.

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