It’s been one week since our arrival in Vietnam. It’s hot as expected, but so far an unbelievable experience.
Our first day was spent screening patients for surgery. Sixty plus patients were seen that day, with almost all needing surgery. Some could not be helped due to the right surgical equipment not being available, but this information does give us more indication on what we need to bring on the next mission.
Working side by side with the Vietnamese surgeons, we have completed seven total joint surgeries on the USNS Mercy and nine cases at Da Nang Ortho and Rehab Hospital. The Vietnamese surgeons are very skilled, but limited in supplies and implant options. In spite of this, they do a great job. I’ll try never to complain about not having my favorite retractor again.
The people in town are very friendly despite the language barriers. Recently at dinner, we were approached by the people at the next table and asked if we needed help with the menu. The group had relatives in the States going to college and were excited to see Americans.