A team of doctors from the University of Florida Department of Anesthesiology recently returned from an outreach trip to Ruth Paz Hospital in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. The visit was the final instructional component of a curriculum designed to teach point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) and ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia (UGRA) techniques to anesthesiologists in developing countries.
Members of the team were residents Eduardo Walker, M.D.; Karolain Garcia, M.D.; Juan Acosta, M.D.; pediatric anesthesiology fellow Federico Jimenez-Ruiz, M.D.; and faculty members Barys Ihnatsenka, M.D., associate professor of anesthesiology; and Steven Robicsek, M.D., Ph.D., professor of anesthesiology.
In Honduras, as is often the case in low-resource countries, anesthesia capacity is limited by a lack of infrastructure, equipment, and drugs. To help address this need, the team committed to sharing their time and knowledge with the anesthesiology group at Ruth Paz Hospital. Operated by the Ruth Paz Foundation, the nonprofit hospital provides accessible medical care to underserved populations.
Beginning in January of this year, the outreach team held a series of weekly, Spanish-language virtual lectures and demonstrations. In May, the team traveled to Honduras to deliver hands-on instruction to anesthesiologists at the hospital. Participants further refined their new skills with ultrasound, POCUS, and UGRA and put them to practice in a clinical setting.
The outreach team hopes to continue its collaboration with the anesthesiology staff at Ruth Paz Hospital, and eventually deliver its new curriculum to healthcare professionals in other Spanish-speaking developing countries.
Travel expenses for the trip were funded by a grant from the Heineman-Robicsek Fondation. Fujifilm Sonosite’s Global Health Program supported the trip with the loan of two ultrasound machines for the workshops and clinical training.