Our last few days in Jamaica have been spent at St. Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital. It has been wonderful to see the referral hospital. The pediatric unit is large and attached in a small room is the special nursery. The nursery has 2 ventilators and the physicians and nurses are very proud that the ISSA foundation donated the ventilators. While asking about the ventilators and how they monitor the neonates on the ventilators I was shocked to learn that the portable x-ray machine broke down months ago so the neonates never get a CXR. They also have a difficult time obtaining blood gasses. They don’t have CVN and the physician told me that the babies just get D5 0.2NS and starve. It was also interesting to note that they don’t have central line kits and many times use a foley catheter for a UVC. They are very innovative in the nursery and on the wards. They have learned to rely on physical exam findings instead of labs and images.

On the pediatric ward I see lots of asthma, bronchiolitis, and URI’s. The turn around rate is fast. Most of the children stay the night and get to leave the next morning. The beds are very close together and there is only room for a small chair (like a school room chair not a nice recliner.) Many of the parents sleep in the chair overnight so they can be close to their children. The parents that have been there a long time even sleep during the day in the chair because they are so tired. The children usually just sit in there beds and color or read but, I noticed a small playroom attached that has books, a TV and some games for the kids to use. I noticed that no one ever used the playroom. This morning I arrived at the pediatric unit early and asked why none of the kids are ever in the playroom. The nurse said it was because they needed a supervisor and the nurses are usually to busy. I told them that I would supervise the children and they gave me the key to the room. The kids were excited and after breakfast came to play. They loved the room and were sad to leave when rounds started. I was sad I couldn’t play more but was sweating profoundly after pushing children in carts and entertaining them.

The resort is AMAZING. Everyone has been so wonderful to us and they call doc wherever we go. The food is amazing and there is a large variety of food. The activities are wonderful and Drew even got scuba certified so we can go diving together. I couldn’t ask for better service or a nicer place to stay. It truly has been wonderful.
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