Thursday, May 26, 2011

With neighbors like these...

Who needs enemies?
The Egyptians, don't ya just love 'em? The majestic pyramids, the flowing nile, the inspiring mass demonstrations for freedom. Can't get enough of 'em. The Egyptian border army just loves to send us work in the form of multiple trauma victims.
Sudanese and Eritreans fleeing the horror in their own countries, seeking asylum, hazard the long trek to less than open arms here in Israel. This unwelcome is preferable to the treatment in Egypt,  where en route they are robbed, beaten, raped and killed. Those, like my most recent patient, manage to get to the border only to be shredded by machine gun fire. Those wonderful Egyptians, sometimes they wait for the hapless victim to cross the border, and sometimes they don't, in which case they dump the body on our side of the border. That way, the Israeli taxpayer can foot the bill for their treatment.
The latest victim of Egyptian hospitality was a young  African man evacuated by helicopter. In the Trauma room, he had a pulse, barely. He had gun shot wounds to his abdomen, left leg, right arm, and just to add insult to injury, one bullet ripped through his genitals.
We rushed him into surgery, the surgeons did damage control, stopped the bleeding and and resected damaged bowel. Despite packed cells, plasma, thrombocyte and crystalloid infusions, he wasn't stabilizing. "He's bleeding somewhere else",  I said to the surgeons. I put the chest film on the screen, normal. So, no bleeding in the chest cavity.
We removed the drapes and found blood dripping from the leg and the forearm. The orthopedic surgeon came in. The x-ray showed that the midshaft of the femur was totally pulverized. There was a pulse in the lower leg, so the artery wasn't damaged.  Ortho stabilized what was left of the femur with an external fixator and the bleeding stopped. Vascular came in to find the ulnar artery torn. That was ligated and finally there was no more bleeding. We took the patient up to the ICU in stable condition.
Yep, those lovable Egyptians. Not only are they hospitable, but they are great shots too!
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