Sandy JohnG, MD
Sandy JohnG, MD
Other MD/DO · San Francisco, CA

BREATH device project in Arequipa, Peru

April 8th
Arequipa, Peru

Project Description

I plan to aid in the BREATH (Baby Resuscitation Enhanced - A Tech Helper) device project with Dr. Holly Martin of UCSF, in low resource hospital and clinic settings in Arequipa, Peru. The BREATH device will allow us to teach standardized and evidence-based neonatal resuscitation to providers in low-resource settings. I will also help Dr. Martin develop a neonatal and pediatric resuscitation simulation curriculum for medical students in Arequipa.

Population Served

Our aim is to serve neonatal providers in Arequipa by teaching standardized and evidence-based neonatal resuscitation, in order to provide sustainable improvement in the clinical management of neonates. I will be starting a neonatology fellowship in July 2019, so improving outcomes for this vulnerable patient population, especially in low-resource settings, is of utmost importance to me. Additionally, we will serve the medical students in Arequipa by creating a simulation curriculum that we will create using experience that we have gained using simulation training at UCSF.

Expected Impact

We hope to create lasting impact with improved neonatal resuscitation in low-resource settings in Arequipa, which will be sustained by training providers who work and live in Arequipa. We also hope to significantly impact medical student education for years to come by creating a strong foundation for a curriculum in pediatric and neonatal resuscitation simulation, which students and faculty in Arequipa can continue to tailor in order to best fit their educational needs.

Trip Photos & Recap

I had the opportunity to travel to Arequipa, Peru with my mentor Holly Martin, MD to help create a Neonatal Resuscitation Simulation Curriculum for the medical students and residents at the Catholic University of Santa Maria. I created the simulation curriculum according to the training that I had received and the resources I was accustomed to in my Pediatric Residency, and it was very enlightening to speak to the faculty at the University in Arequipa, and adjust the curriculum according to the training and resources that students and residents have there. For example, I wrote a scenario for placental abruption during which the participants should practice activating a protocol to obtain emergency blood products. However, we learned that only the biggest hospital in Arequipa has a blood bank, so most of the residents would not be practicing in a setting that has ready access to blood products. Therefore, the scenario was adjusted to instead practice emergency transfer of the patient to a larger facility with a blood bank. I think one of the biggest pitfalls of global health is to travel to a different country and teach/practice exactly as one would in his/her home country, as if medicine was not an entity that should be molded according to the culture and resources of the place where it is being practiced. My experience in Arequipa was a valuable reminder of this pillar of global health, and allowed for an unforgettable immersion in Peruvian culture.