Tuesday, November 9, 2010
This is a picture of a patient’s grandmother laundering the dressings that were removed from her grandson. Because of hospital wide shortages of quality dressings, family members must wash their outer dressings daily to be reused the next day. This certainly is not practicing sterile technique or even clean technique by any means, certainly not acceptable by US standards, but there is simply no other alternative. If they don’t wash the dressings they have, the child will go without the dressings. The boy was burned over 23% of his body. At first the family did not divulge how the accident occurred, they told us he was pushed into a fire by a friend. Days later it was revealed that he fell into a fire while practicing a traditional dance. Likely they hid this from us as some Malawians view traditional dancing as voodoo or possibly associated with unchristian-like teachings. This is of course irrelevant to his treatment, and tomorrow he will leave a healed 12 year old boy after 3 skin graft operations.