Guest Blog: Dr Andreas Brodbeck

Dr Andreas Brodbeck, Consultant in Anaesthesia, Intensive Care and Pain Medicine at James Paget University Hospital visited Nepal twice in 2015. He shares his story:

"One week after the April 2015 earthquake, a team of four doctors from James Paget University Hospital arrived in Kathmandu. We had been sent to provide medical help to Kirtipur Hospital which had dedicated its theatres for the overwhelming need for orthopaedic surgery.

Not knowing exactly where and how our team would be working, I had the opportunity to take an ultrasound (US) machine to perform regional nerve blocks, which proved to be a very helpful technique for the patients with upper and lower limb injuries.

The hospital’s anaesthetic team - already well trained in regional anaesthesia – learned how to work the ultrasound very quickly. Sadly I had to return back to the UK with the ultrasound scanner, but we agreed that I should return to provide a US guided regional anaesthesia workshop later in the year.

One of my Nepalese colleagues at James Paget University Hospital, Dr Kamal Aryal, had run a successful laparoscopic surgery course in Nepal for many years, supported by Health Exchange Nepal (HExN), and this organisation was quickly prepared to support my ultrasound workshop.  HExN even funded a new ultrasound machine which we were able to present to the Kirtipur Hospital anaesthetic team when I returned to run the workshop in December 2015.

The one day workshop was successful and the feedback from attendees was excellent. We want to consider a two-day course in the future that would include clinical work and exposure in theatres with patients."