By BBN Staff: More than 75 patients with varying conditions affecting their spine met with specialists from the international organization Spine Overseas (SOS) this week.
Two members of the SOS team, Keri George and intern Zoey Keefe, were in Belize conducting assessments and identifying patients who need follow-up assessments or interventions when the full SOS team comes in September.
Geroge explained that they saw some 18 patients in Dangriga at the Southern Regional Hospital, but that some of those patients came from Punta Gorda for the clinic. They also saw 24 patients in Belmopan at the Western Regional Hospital and concluded the clinics yesterday at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they saw 34 patients.
Geroge explained that they observed several patients with conditions such as compressed discs in their back, some with issues affecting their necks, and various types of scoliosis, a condition which causes an abnormal curvature of the spine.
“We’ve seen a mixture of patients, our youngest patient was two years old and our oldest was about 74,” George said. “We’ve also been seeing male and female patients and I think it was a pretty even split.”
George said that when the team returns in September, they will follow up with some of the patients on September 8, and begin a week worth of surgical interventions from September 9-13. SOS comes to Belize a minimum of twice a year and a maximum of four times a year to conduct clinics, surgeries, and followups.
The organization emphasizes heavily on education for everyone involved including patients, doctors and nursing staff, in an effort to combat scoliosis. In 2015, the organization also donated two Cell Saver machines to the KHMH valued at US$80,000 each.