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Showing posts from January, 2016

She Didn't Even Have A Name

We were at Papa Palmer and Nana Nancy’s house when the phone rang.  We had just finished eating a delicious meal and were talking about M’Bingo and theology interchangeably.  After answering the call in the other room, the veteran missionary physician returned to report, “It’s a four-day-old.”  “You should go, Ethan,” Elizabeth said, voicing my thoughts.  So Dr. Palmer, an internist, escorted me to see my first patient, a baby girl in respiratory distress.  When we arrived, the baby was dusky, cyanotic (blue), and struggling to breathe despite high flow oxygen.  A resident presented the case.  The beautiful little girl was a 41-week-gestational-age infant whose mother had rupture of membranes (“broken water”) 48 hours prior to delivery, increasing both her and her baby’s risk for infection.  The delivery was notable for excessive meconium (fetal excrement). Extraction of the baby had been difficult.  All in all, not a good set-up for arrival in the world.  At the time of ou