Monthly Archives February 2014

Feb 282014

Postcard from the Edge – My experiences of anaesthesia in the Philippines

Mark Catolica

Author: Dr Mark Catolico, Final Year Specialty Registrar, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust

As a UK trainee we have the privilege of plentiful senior input comparative to other specialties. At this point my experience was nine months in general anaesthesia & paediatric anaesthesia with direct supervision only. What was I to do when faced with anaesthetising a paediatric patient in a developing country! This was the challenge that I chose to accept.

How I got involved

It was early December 2005, in the brand new state of the art Theatres at University College Hospital. I was the anaesthetist for the Paediatics Maxillofacial list. Whilst in the anaesthetic room, Mr Peter Ayliffe (Consultant Maxillofacial Surgeon) spoke to me. This can be quite difficult whilst attempting blind nasal intubation, but I proceeded multitasking and Mr Ayliffe started talking in Tagalog (native language of the Philippines). This threw me completely. I failed my blind nasal technique, and tried a more conventional approach.

By this time Mr Ayliffe told me his involvement with PAGES (Philippine American Group of Educators & Surgeons) and its annual medical missions to the Philippines. By the time I had transferred my patient to the operating theatre I had somehow agreed to go on the mission.

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