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Transit Center joins international efforts to inspire additional Kyrgyz emergency care
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan ? Dr. Arieu Endesh treats a 'patient' for shortness of breath Sept. 13. Three Transit Center doctors took part in this international effort to help Kyrgyzstan build its emergency medical care capability by training 14 local medical doctors and surgeons during a two-week course that concluded Sept. 18 at the Kyrgyz State Medical Institute for Retraining and Continuous Education. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Buzanowski)
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Transit Center joins international efforts to inspire additional Kyrgyz emergency care

Posted 9/24/2010   Updated 9/24/2010 Email story   Print story

    


by Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Buzanowski
376th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs


9/24/2010 - BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan -- Three Transit Center at Manas doctors took part in an international effort to help Kyrgyzstan build its emergency medical care capability by training 14 local medical doctors and surgeons during a two-week course that concluded Sept. 18.

The Kyrgyz State Medical Institute for Retraining and Continuous Education is hoping these very students will emerge amongst the country's foremost emergency care experts. The Transit Center's clinic was asked by the Centre of International Migration and Development, Germany, to instruct this course specifically for medical doctors to learn the broader scope of trauma and emergency health care as the Kyrgyz medical community moves to offer trauma care at all of its hospitals.

Mr. Heini Schranz, a medical advisor for the center since 2007, said the German government is helping the Kyrgyz government in this effort since the hospitals here are decentralized - and most focus on a different medical specialty.

Because of this Russian-style of specialized medical training, the majority of doctors lack a trauma medicine or family medicine background - experience that's needed in an emergency room, said Col. Alan Reid, 376th Expeditionary Medical Group commander.

"Anytime any of the hospitals or medical centers and other non-governmental organizations allow us to partner we consider it exactly what it is - a privilege. It allows our doctors to expand their experience as well as become better physicians by listening to their questions and rethinking how they would treat the patient."

The curriculum and majority of the lectures were already prepared, allowing the Transit Center doctors to mainly focus on communicating the material. "Each of us did about 20 lectures - if we had to prepare all the material we'd only have time allow from our clinic's mission to cover three. We read the slides, but talked to our experience and stayed focused on the international standard of medicine," said Dr. (Capt.) Lance Black of the Transit Center, who said he enjoyed interacting on a physician-to-physician level. "So many Airmen volunteer in the local community - but for me, being able to help out using the professional skill I've been trained in made the experience especially rewarding."

Dr. Black said the two-week course the students received covers all of the types of trauma they see in three years of residency. The topics ranged from pregnant patients having a complicated delivery to treating patients with an altered mental status.

The Transit Center's surgeon, Dr. (Maj.) Kathryne Senechal, coordinated the clinic's scheduling so both the medical mission at the clinic could be supported while they served as guest lecturers. "What we really did was teach how a lot of medical problems start out as emergencies and how to work those up in an emergency situation. That would include heart attacks, shortness of breath, headaches, abdominal pain - none of which would be called trauma but would be emergencies," said the surgeon who spoke on urologic and gynecologic emergencies as well as diagnosing abdominal pain.

"In the states, for example, we diagnose appendicitis with a CT scan but that's not the reality here," said Dr. Senechal who actually removed an appendix from a military member at the Transit Center last week. Radiologists here are not trained to read CT scans for that purpose. "Doctors here use other clinical findings and patient history to diagnose - then confirm with surgery." She explained that the symptom of anorexia, or lack of hunger, is a very sensitive indicator of appendicitis. Applying pressure to the abdomen on the opposite side of the appendix is also very consistent with the disease.
Both of these findings are used more often when CT scans are not used to diagnose appendicitis. "Usually 30 percent of people here who have surgery for appendicitis don't have it, but it's a more acceptable practice then missing it."

The Transit Center's Dr. (Capt.) Richard Speakman said the Kyrgyz doctors are the future trainees of the very course they just took. "The feedback from the center was that it would be impossible without the help from the Transit Center - you really need as many physicians as possible. Not only did we do lectures, but we'd break into groups to run three different practical exercises at the same time and have the student rotate between each. After the course ended with a written test, the students thanked us for taking time to explain the international point of view. I know they are all going to help raise the level of care in Kyrgyzstan - overall it was a big success."

Colonel Reid said he was excited three of the Transit Center doctors were able to have this experience. "They've each come back from teaching the last two weeks all smiles - they are just energized."



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