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Common Problems Eloise Harman Based on 16 years with PH.

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Presentation on theme: "Common Problems Eloise Harman Based on 16 years with PH."— Presentation transcript:

1 Common Problems Eloise Harman Based on 16 years with PH


3 Project Haiti Started by Serge Geffrard, then a second year medical student in 1996-in Serge’s words “Having grown up in Haiti, I have always had a passionate desire to be part of a medical trip to my native country” Without Serge’s passion and ingenuity, there would not be a “Project Haiti”

4 PH History In Fall 1995, Serge, recruited several other students and a physician in private practice to go to Haiti during Spring break 1996 They stayed at an orphanage The physician couldn’t tolerate the conditions (and the gastroenteritis) and left after 3 days Serge persisted and with the help of Dr Parker Small, went back with a better organized group and 2 faculty in 1997. Serge also asked Dr Art Fournier of Project Medishare (U Miami) to accompany the group

5 Project Haiti was the pioneer for international service projects at UF

6 Common Problems Organizational Medical Behavioral


8 Crowds and Organization Develop organizational plan including triage and crowd control Use the help of local people to maintain the organization In advance, pack and label commonly used drugs like NSAIDs, Acetaminophen, vitamins Limit the number of medicines that you give to an individual Develop a system to mark people (eg children already given worming medicine)already seen to avoid repeaters

9 At each location take a few minutes to scout out the available sites for exams and figure out where the people will wait and the location of the pharmacy One entrance and one exit Triage Obtaining a detailed history of a complaint may be difficult. Try to think of key questions. Use observation, vital signs, common sense to determine who is really sick

10 Medications Use caution and avoid giving multiple medications Ask if they are already taking medication Childproof containers may be desirable but teaching how to open them may be problematic Ask women if they are pregnant or nursing Label every drug clearly with name and strength and write directions in the local language or with pictorial labels

11 Werner, Where There is No Doctor, 1992 Medication Label for Non-Readers

12 Common Complaints Fever Itching/rash Cough/wheeze Malaise Joint pain Epigastric pain Headache Dysuria/discharge

13 Who’s Really Sick? Change in level of consciousness Unable to walk unassisted Breathing fast/using accessory muscles High fever Bleeding/injury

14 Common Conditions Skin rashes Asthma/bronchitis/URIs UTI/Vaginitis/STDs PUD/parasites/H. Pylori DJD/muscle strain Pregnancy Hypertension CHF Malnutrition

15 Skin Conditions Cutaneous fungal infections Impetigo Scabies Atopic dermatitis

16 Impetigo A bacterial skin infection (staph aureus, strep pyogenes or combination A red macule or papule progresses to a vesicle which ruptures easily to form an erosion, with characteristic honey-colored crusts that may be pruritic. Often is spread to surrounding areas by autoinoculation. This infection tends to affect areas subject to environmental trauma, such as the extremities or the face. Spontaneous resolution without scarring typically occurs in several weeks if the infection is left untreated


18 Impetigo treatment Treatment is usually topical (mupirocin- Bactroban) Oral antibiotics are recommended in more severe cases (macrolides, cephalosporins, amoxicillin/clavulanate)

19 Cutaneous Fungal Infection Tinea versicolor (caused by yeast melassezia furfur ) “Ringworm” (caused by dermatophytes) Monilial (Candida infections)



22 Tinea Capitis Tinea faciei

23 Treatment Topical clotrimazole Avoid using topical corticosteroids Oral therapy: Fluconazole 6 mg/kg for 2 weeks Griseofulvin 20 mg/kg for 6 weeks

24 Scabies Scabies is an infestation by the itch mite, Sarcoptes scabiei. Mites are small eight-legged parasites. They are tiny, just 1/3 millimeter long, and burrow into the skin to produce intense itching, which tends to be worse at night. The mites which cause scabies are not visible with the naked eye but can be seen with a magnifying glass or microscope.

25 Signs/Symptoms Small red papules and vesicles Scabies may involve the webs of fingers, the wrists and the backs of the elbows, the knees, areas around the waist and umbilicus, the axillary folds, the areas around the nipples, the sides and backs of the feet, the genital area, and the buttocks. Often there are erosions and crusting because of scratching


27 Norweigan Scabies A severe form of scabies occuring in the context of immunosuppression The lesions are extensive and generalized Skin may become thickened and wart-like Itching may be minimal or absent

28 Treatment of scabies Topical Treatment: Permethrine Oral treatment: Ivermectin: Dose is 200 micrograms/kg. May give a repeat dose in 2 weeks. Antihistamines, eg diphenhydramine (Benadryl), may help provide relief from itching.

29 Permethrine (Elimite) Applied from the neck down and washed off the next morning Safe for children over 2 months of age

30 Treatment of scabies Wash linens and bedclothes in hot water. Since mites don't live long away from the body, not necessary to wash all of ones clothing. Treat sexual contacts or relevant family members (who either have symptoms or have the kind of relationship that makes transmission likely). Cut nails, and clean under them thoroughly to remove any mites or eggs that may be present.

31 Asthma Sx/signs: Dyspnea, cough, use of accessory muscles, wheezing Acute management: Inhaled bronchodilator (albuterol) either by nebulizer or inhaler with a spacer Short course of oral steroids if available If you provide an inhaler teach technique and use spacer


33 Dysuria UTI/ vaginitis (candida, bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis) Urine dipstick Exam if conditions allow Avoid empiric treatment without some indication of infection

34 Vaginal Discharge Common complaint A scant clear or white odorless discharge is normal Itching, burning, irritation, redness, erosions, friability are associated with infection Character, odor of discharge may be clue to dx


36 Epigastric Pain In patients with chronic abdominal pain H Pylori is common (62% in rural Haiti) Treatment of H Pylori is complex and involves multiple medications-not practical Generally we use PPIs (prilosec, nexium,etc) or H2 blockers (pepcid) or antacids in pregnant women

37 Joint/muscle pain Hard labor Muscle strain and DJD are common Usually treat with ibuprofen Use acetaminophen if older or has epigastric pain

38 Hypertension and Other Chronic Conditions If you are at a clinic that can provide longterm follow-up and medication, provide medication per their formulary If already on a medication and has run out try to match this drug as closely as possible Do not give medications for chronic conditions if there is no f/u For hypertension, CHF can advise low Na diet

39 These Global Missions are Mutually Beneficial Provide care for people in medically underserved areas Interact with local health professionals and students We gain better understanding of pressures faced by people in less privileged circumstances Often this ignites an interest in service

40 Educational Gains See a lot of patients Observe physical findings and diseases that you may never see at home You use powers of observation, physical exam and common sense rather than testing to make decisions. Learn basic pharmacology Interact with students from other disciplines

41 Final Word of Caution Be careful in the country Critical care for trauma or serious illness will be limited and it will take hours to evacuate a seriously sick or injured student If you get seriously injured or sick in the country-this can jeopardize all future trips Consider a “ no alcohol” pledge


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