Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Operating Theater Fills Critical Surgery Gap in Post-Dorian Bahamas


By Noah Smith

As an orthopedic surgeon and medical chief of staff at Rand Memorial Hospital, the main hospital in Grand Bahama, Dr. Freeman Lockhart did not expect to be working in a war zone-like field tent for the better part of a year.

But after Hurricane Dorian took all of the island’s hospitals offline, a tent seemed like a great option next to the alternative, which was having no operating theatre available to the island’s more than 55,000 residents and thousands of residents on smaller, neighboring islands.

The field tents, while providing a critical service in late fall of last year when they arrived, are tough to keep sterile – an even more pressing issue during the pandemic – and are unsuitable for winds exceeding 40 miles per hour, much less hurricane season.

“If faced with a Covid patient, we didn’t have much ability to clean and sterilize the tent,” Lockhart told Direct Relief. They did not have to face such a situation, though still had to deal with the standard cleanliness issues.  Read more >>