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6 hour dingy ride across the ocean

6 hour dingy ride across the ocean

We received a call from hospital to say there was an unbooked mother from Woodlark Island that had delivered in the village but the placenta was unable to be delivered.  She presented to Woodkark Island health centre.  Health staff attempted removal but failed.

She was referred to Misima hospital which is  6 hour dingy ride across the ocean.  The doctor was still in Alotau and health staff were unable to remove it.  It was now Day 4.  The mother’s observations were stable and she was able to walk just a few meters.

Kila and I planned to retrieve the mother from Basima first, then go to Misima.  There was a 2 hour delay with the Basima retrieval and we arrived back at our Gurney base at 12 30 pm

The hospital had dropped off only one drum of fuel so I had to go into Alotau and fill another drum from the petrol bowser.   By now it was too late to fly to Misima as its a 3.5 hour turn around.

We readied the Beaver for a first light departure next day. By morning the weather over Misima was torrential rain, heavy black cloud and poor visibility.  We contacted Misima.  Mother was still OK so we waited.  Weather cleared by 11am and we departed 11.30am.

We passed over Jamil Passage and counted 3 container ships steaming towards Asia from Australia.  We always see at least 3 if not 5 ships heading in both directions.  On approaching Misima the rivers were running into the ocean turning the waters red. The clouds to the East were holding off . The strip was soft and boggy.  The mother was ready in the ambulance when we arrived.  Our mother was able to make a few steps with assistance which made the turn around fast.

We arrived back at base at 3.15 pm to a waiting ambulance. Our mother was comfortable in the back of the Beaver lying down and fed her baby for most of the way.  We gave her a baby bundle in the ambulance before she left to help her out with personal items and baby things.

Just another day at the office.

Dr Barry