A photo of Pavel, an International Children’s Heart Foundation intensivist.
Greetings from Basra!
This is the second post in a series designed to give you a glimpse into the heart-fixers and child-savers that you’ve helped us bring to Iraq—click here to read about one of our respiratory therapists!
We talk a lot about our partner doctors and nurses, but there’s actually a lot more depth to these missions than just those two simple categories; there are scrub nurses, surgeons, perfusionists, respiratory therapists, and on and on, but one of my personal favorites is the intensivist.
Of course they’re all pretty herioc—especially considering many use their vacation time to come on Remedy Missions—but there’s something especially… intense, about the intensivist.
Pavel, the intensivist for Remedy Mission XIV in Basra, Iraq, doing rounds in the ICU.
As one respiratory therapist put it: “You can have the best surgeon in the world, but not having good post-op care means you can’t ensure a positive outcome.”
This is why the intensivist’s job is so important: they keep the patient alive after the operation. Because what good is it to correct a child’s heart defect if they don’t survive after the operation?
As the name suggests, this job requires a lot of monitoring and attention to detail. Dosages, heart rates, saturation levels; the slightest oversight could have disastrous results, and it’s the intensivist’s job to keep tabs on all of it.
Here in Iraq, there aren’t any pediatric cardiac intensivists (yet!). Fortunately, our partners at Living Light International and the International Children’s Heart Foundation are working with local doctors to help change this, and several of our programs are now either training or looking to hire an intensivist for their ICU.
In the meantime, we’ll keep providing as many Remedy Missions as it takes to train these local doctors to competency. Will you join us? Give $20 and help us provide more training for up-and-coming intensivists today!
A photo of Pavel working alongside a local Iraqi doctor in the ward.