Using EchoNous on a Surgical Mission to Guatemala

70 surgeries in 5 days!

Matt Wall

Matt Wall

BSN, RN, CPEN

Prior to EchoNous I worked at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where I still have strong ties. One of my old nursing friends texted me out of the blue, “any chance you can go to Guatemala on Saturday??” A one-week surgical mission was scheduled to leave that weekend, but the team was down a nurse due to an emergency. A quick check in with my area director, James Derrickson, who didn’t hesitate to say, “go for it!” and I was suddenly bound for Guatemala.

The mission group arrived to Guatemala City and we didn’t waste any time converting a small clinic into a thriving operating room. Over the next 5 days we would complete 70 surgeries to include cleft lip and palate repair, inguinal hernia repair, and various other procedures. The conditions of the mission required us to be both inventive and flexible. When one of the surgical beds refused to be lowered our surgeon, Dr. Gatti, operated from a bar stool we found in the cocina (kitchen). So, when you have the chance to bring cutting-edge ultrasound into this environment it can be game changing. The high fidelity of the EchoNous system allowed us to evaluate hernias in pre-op and quickly establish IV’s on children with difficult vascular access – something not possible on previous missions. 

 

EchoNous was both reliable and durable, proving to be a great companion on this trip! 

I am so grateful for the trust given to us by the Guatemalan people, allowing us to care for their children, and grateful to a company that values innovation. Guatemala made a lasting impression on me and I hope to return next year to continue this great work.