Médecines sans Frontieres
(Prescription Without Borders)

It was our last day in Ahuas; the clinic was quiet,” said Maryellen Dye, assistant professor of nursing, who spent December 28-January 10 at the the Moravian Board of World Mission clinic in the back country of Honduras with two nursing students, Elise Alexander, Summit Hill, and Carrie Emery, Whitehouse Station, N.J., both ’04.

“Suddenly a car horn went off, and a whole family carried in this door with a 60-year-old woman on it.” In this lowland country, houses are built on stilts, and the woman had fallen off her steps, sustaining a compound fracture of the femur, right at the hip joint.

“The standards of care are so different between the States and rural Honduras. Here we’d give narcotic pain medicine until she went to surgery,” Maryellen said. But all they could do at this small hospital and clinic was take an X-ray to determine the extent of the fracture and give her one shot of a narcotic for pain. “After that, they only have Tylenol available,” Maryellen said. “There is no más. And the only treatment is two months of traction.” Such immobility puts the patient at risk for blood clots, she explained.

In the radio room of the clinic, Maryellen learned that a nurse-anesthetist would be coming in shortly from the U.S. to provide anesthesia for scheduled surgeries. If they could get a package of Heparin, a blood-clot preventative, to him, he could bring it.
Maryellen e-mailed Janet Sipple, dean of Moravian’s School of Nursing, and Marianne Adam, assistant professor of nursing. Dr. Patrick Brogle at St. Luke’s Hospital wrote a prescription. The medicine was overnighted to nurse-anesthetist Tommy Waggoner in North Carolina.

So, in the end, thanks to teamwork and generosity, the woman’s eight weeks of immobility will be relatively risk-free.

January 27, 2004

Table Talk:
Improvements to HUB's Dining Hall.

Out for a Walk:
A snowfamily plods across South Campus.

Médecines sans Frontieres (Prescription Without Borders):
Moravian nursing students and professor help a Honduran woman get much-needed medicine using e-mail and teamwork.

A busy campus calendar.

Honor Roll:
Moravian appears in a selective new guide to undergraduate colleges.
Achievements of faculty/staff/students.
Prize Possessions (Ours):
Awards for administrative and support staff.