Ear screenings were underway at Leroij Atama Zedkaia Memorial Hospital in Majuro following the arrival of the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) team Tuesday. The team was led by Professor Jean Johnson from the University of Hawaii in Manoa, and includes Surgeon Dr. Richard Wagner from the Global ENT Outreach (GEO), and Pediatric Audiologist Dr. Yusnita Weirather. Johnson confirmed Wednesday that the team is here until Friday.
Thirty-six people were screened through Wagner Tuesday. Out of these, 16 were scheduled for surgery. Meanwhile, Weirather did a dozen ear tests. More patients are to be seen by the team before their departure. Starting Wednesday, surgeries were conducted by Wagner. The first patient was three-year-old boy and it took about 10 minutes for Wagner to work on both ears to remove the pus (fluid) out.
A 10-year-old girl who had trouble hearing had one of both ears fixed on a previous surgery by Wagner. Audio test results Tuesday by Weirather showed that the ear that was fixed is now working well. The girl’s other ear was scheduled for a tympanoplasty, eardrum repair.
The biggest case, however, was an18-year-old female who was scheduled to have a mastoidectomy, which is extreme surgery, Thursday. So far the youngest patient scheduled for surgery is an eight-month-old child.
This is the third trip by the team this year. Johnson explained that they expect to visit Majuro every three months. And every six months brings Wagner for surgeries and also takes the team to Ebeye, Kwajalein. The next visit to Ebeye is in January.
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