Basima mother with prolapse uterus
Basima called us on HF radio at 2pm to say they had a mother who delivered in a village near Wadele 3 days ago and her uterus was prolapsed outside. They couldn’t contact anyone at the hospital by HF or phone and they had no zoom (2 stroke fuel) for their dingy and could we assist. YES.
Basima HC is on the northern side of Ferguson Isl. It’s hard to visit this HC as it’s on a rocky beach with submerged bommies fringing the beach anyway. The coast is exposed and rarely calm so landing the Beaver there is risky.
We radioed Esa’ala HC which is 40 minutes away by dingy to see if they could retrieve the mother and bring her to where we could safely pick her up. They replied their zoom supply was arriving by boat that night and they could assist tomorrow morning.
We arranged with Grabiel, the OIC at Esa’ala HC for an early morning retrieval in the straight near Dobu Isl which is opposite Esa’ala HC. It’s protected most times from strong wind and swell and is 40 minutes flight from our base.
Grabiel set off about 9.30 am as it happened because his zoom supply didn’t arrive as expected but fortunately a dingy arrived from Alotau and he was able to borrow enough zoom of them to go to Basima and back.
We left our base after Grabiel departed for Basima trying to keep our waiting time floating in the straight to a minimum.
It didn’t quite work out that way. When Grabiel arrived at Basima HC the patient wasn’t ready. The mother was already quite septic and confused. There is no network at Basima so communication was difficult once we landed on the water obesity Dobu Isl.
We called Sr. Claudette at Esa’ala HC who was able to radio through to Basina to get updates for us. Communication in Milne Bay can be so frustrating at times.
While waiting for our mother to arrive, we received a SMS from Sylvester at Rabaraba HC saying they had a mother at Rabaraba with leaking liquor and failure to progress in labour and could we assist.
Shortly after that SMS we received another from the hospital to say they had a mother at Misima with retained placenta and could we assist. We had 3 medivacs to do on the same day and we were still waiting for the first mother who we knew was priority.
Eventually after 1.5 hours sitting on the water a dingy appeared on the horizon and our patient soon after. We were extremely lucky that on this occasion the wind was opposing the tide and in the one and half hours we had al.ost naintained our pisition. The sea was too deep to deploy our anchor so we were at the mercy of the elements.
Our mother was dehydrated and confused with a pulse of 144 (N= 60 – 100) and a BP of 80/60 mmHg (N = 120/80) She was running a fever of 38.8.
Kila applied a compression garment while she was lying in the dingy. Once in the Beaver and on oxygen she settled. It was good to finally lift off the water and head for base. By the time we reached base her pulse was 120 and BP 101/60.
So the compression garment bought us some time. Today she is much better and her condition is improved On closer examination she suffered an odematus cervix from the delivery, not uterus as first thought.
While refueling the Beaver for Rabaraba Sylvester rang to say the mother was now progressing and may deliver. She delivered a baby girl at around 5 pm.
By now we had run out of daylight hours to safely fly to Misima and needed more fuel anyway We were tired from the Esa’ala retrieval anyway. Waiting on the ocean is not ideal. It’s not as if your on a fresh water lake or shared Bay. Conditions can change suddenly and we worry about the aircraft safety as well as the mother.
Just another day at THOR base.