where possible we try to treat people as outpatients due to the cost and the inconvenience it causes for families, but when necessary the acutely ill patients and patients who require end of life care can be managed at the hospital. Patients often also attend as day patients due to the long distances they have to travel. Minor operations can also be carried out as day patients.
Inpatient - Case History of a child who was burned
Early Stages (within the first year of the Hospital opening when resources were limited)
Whilst the mother was working in the fields the baby was being cared for by the other children in the family who were preparing an open fire which was to be used for cooking a meal. The baby crawled into the open fire and suffered severe burns to the left leg from thigh to toes. If the baby had been admitted to a hospital in England it is most likely that the baby would have been treated by skin grafting. Using what was available the Acorn Community Hospital staff treated the baby with pain killers, antibiotics and daily salt baths to help keep the wound free from infection and to try and heal the wound. The mother stayed with the baby for 3 weeks at the Hospital before the grandmother came to take them both home as the mother was needed to look after the rest of the family and the homestead. The baby’s wounds were treated with gun oil which acted as a sealant to protect the skin and keeping it moist while it healed underneath.
Open fires continue to be a hazard but life is still very basic and because they do not have gas or electricity, they have no other forms of lighting so alternative fuels like paraffin continue to be a hazard round the home. Children often suffer severe burns as a result. In August 2008 a little girl was brought to us having suffered severe burns at home when the hot paraffin lamp tipped pouring burning fuel onto her dress, burning her thigh, abdomen and between her legs. She was transferred up to the ACH where she was initially sedated and her wounds were eventually dressed with honey from the beehives in the Acorn garden.