Posted on 13 June, 2013

This post is by Jagdeep Grewal, Pediatric Intensivist, PNG.

It’s only 930am and the Main ICU is a buzz of activity with nursing staff suctioning patients, neuro surgeons reviewing their head injured patients and the usual medical team reviewing patients for blood sugars.

This is the second year that Operation Open Heart has been involved in the General ICU project. Since there is so much activity going on, the hospital’s ICU is completely taken up with cardiac patients that the team has operated on. So how does the hospital survive with its day-to-day ICU requirements?

A separate ICU has been setup for the week on a different ward to cope. Our role on this ward is to work with the local staff and help, assist, teach, train and support them while they are caring for these patients. And with patients suffering from tetanus, snake bites, trauma and gun shot wounds to name a few, it has been a very different week to back home!

It’s really important work – these nurses and doctors are going to be regularly looking after all the heart patients as well, in time, once they are able to do a lot more heart patients on their own.

I was involved last year, and it’s been really heartening to see the local staff being so proactive and industrious – there has definitely been change and improvement since we were here last year. Dr Matt and I did the usual round, however due to a Anaesthetic Education meeting, the usual entourage of local ICU doctors, registrars and medical students was not with us. To be honest I was kind of liking it – much quicker, but without the gentle grilling that takes place, not quite so fun!

A big thanks to all the local and OOH staff for their continued support, hard work and enthusiasm. We look forward to seeing you all again next year.



Cardiac patient with Drs in PNG

ICU nurses in action in PNG ICU nurses in action in PNG