Saturday, August 11, 2007

CDC attachment

Being attached to CDC had been an eye opening experience for me. Other then having to be familiarized with the different documentation format in TTSH, I had to get use to ward environment and the working pace again.

The buildings at CDC have been there for around 50 years. So there is a kinda relaxing, kampong feel to it. They are also spaced far apart. I guess it built in these way to prevent dieases to spread among the wards.

There are two important lessons I've in CDC.

First, HIV and AIDS do not kills you. It is the other illness you caught after it that gets you. As the patients has very weak immune system, it's very difficult for them to recover from infections. I've nursed a patient that has a very bad infection around his pelvis and buttock area.

Every morning we had to assist our Clinical Instructor (CI) to help change his wound dressing which cover the big wound filled with pus. Although we've learn and seen graphical pictures regarding the infection, it is not enough to get us prepare for this experience. Every time the CI use the cotton wound to clean up the wound, pus will just flows out like water.

The pain is excruciating and he will groan in agony.

Second, never die of that disease. The medication taken by the patients are have many adverse side effect (e.g. depression, hallucination, diarrhea, vomiting, severe skin rashes) and will only slow down the inevitable. Some of the treatments they get are very traumatizing too. One example is the Intra-vitreous Injection.

First, the patient will have their eyes numbed with analgesic eye drop. The doctor will then disinfect the eyeballs by pouring iodine directly onto them. after that, medication will be given to the patient by injecting it into their eyeballs.

Sounds gross? It is. And very pain too, even with painkiller eyedrops.

People who has HIV and AIDS has been stigmatized by the society. No matter how you get it, be it from casual sex or through blood transfusion, majority will thinks the you deserved it.

Dying from it will gain you no dignity.

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