In the final days of January, we received the case of a 28-year-old male in Cameroon with “wounds on his legs”. Eager to find out more about this patient and how we could assist the referring health worker, our staff replied with additional questions about the patient’s medical history, current status, and asked for pictures to help us better understand his status. What we received back showed a young man in need of urgent wound care and the assistance of a physician volunteer.
When a case comes in on a weekend we often have to work harder to find an available volunteer, but when we saw this case we knew exactly who to ask. The Addis Clinic is lucky to have a number of very dedicated volunteers who make time for our partners no matter the day of the week, and the experienced emergency medicine volunteer who was assigned the case quickly responded that he would be happy to take it.
The history provided by the referrer revealed that 8 months ago the patient noticed swelling of both lower extremities. He sought out local treatment and the left lower leg swelling subsided, but the right lower leg developed sores that now engulfed the entire leg extending from the foot to the knee. When the physician reviewed the picture sent by the referrer he saw a large granulating ulcer and determined that it should be treated as a second-degree burn and should heal with conservative treatment.
In an educational and thoughtful response, our volunteer not only provided guidance on how to manage the man’s wound, but also discussed the potential reasons behind this man’s chronic ulcers and requested additional information so he and this health worker could get to the bottom of this together. We look forward to learning more about this patient and his progress as this volunteer and dedicated health worker work to treat his acute complaint as well as manage his ongoing health.