Category: Uncategorized

September Newsletter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LFHC Sets Monthly Caseload Record

The dedicated doctors, nurses and other health-care providers at LFHC handled 3,019 medical cases in August – the highest monthly caseload since the hospital opened in 2015.

The growing caseload testifies to the high quality of care offered at the hospital.

 

 

 

 

LFHC Saves Malnourished Baby

   The parents of a 9-month-old child named Malisa became very concerned when she experienced bouts of vomiting for four days and had lost her appetite.

They brought their baby to the LFHC Outpatient Department, where the staff conducted an evaluation and compared Malisa’s weight and size to what would be expected for a child her age. The staff determined that Melisa was suffering from severe protein-calorie malnutrition.

The LFHC nutritionist instructed Malisa’s parents about proper nutrition and how to care for their daughter with RUTF (ready to use therapeutic food).

After several months, she had gained enough weight to leave the severe malnutrition program.

Last year, more than 150 children were treated for severe or moderate malnutrition. The hospital’s therapeutic food program is designed to dramatically reduce the need to hospitalize malnourished children for long periods.

   Read more here.

 

LFHC Nurse Anesthetist Observes Procedures in US

Nurse anesthetist Si Lee recently returned to LFHC after visiting the U.S. to observe anesthesia procedures at medical facilities in Pittsburgh.

Si received a Warfield Scholarship from Health Volunteers Overseas, a Washington D.C. nonprofit, to observe clinical activities at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center-Presbyterian, West Penn Hospital and UPMC Children’s Hospital.

   Read more here.

 

 

 

Rugged Road to Health Care

 

The LFHC Outreach Team must conquer nearly impassable mountain roads to provide medical care to isolated families in northern Laos.

The team logged 446 visits last year to villages far and wide.

    Click here to watch a brief video of their bumpy ride.

 

 

 

 

Funny Garden Hosts Fundraiser for LFHC

   Funny Garden at Indigo Farm recently played host to a weekend fundraiser for LFHC.

Children and their families were treated to such activities as archery, pedal boats, zip line and table tennis. The site also features a water playground for children. Hospital staff and volunteers joined in the fun.

The event was sponsored by Indigo Farm, an organic farm, and Ori Bakery. The farm is about 13 miles from Luang Prabang.

Half of all the proceeds from the event, which came to about $347 U.S. dollars, was donated to the hospital.

Many thanks to Indigo Farm and Ori Bakery!

 

Help Build LFHC’s Pediatric Surgery Fund 

   Children stricken with cancer and heart maladies in northern Laos are dying because their families cannot afford the surgery that could save their lives.

LFHC has neither a staff oncologist nor a heart surgeon. Our doctors must refer children who need such specialists to hospitals in Vientiane or Bangkok. The parents of these children simply don’t have the money to pay for the expensive surgeries at these hospitals. They often return home and their children die.

To save these children we ask you to help finance our Pediatric Surgery Fund. Please click here to make a donation. As always, we thank you for your generous support.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Los Angeles Event

The second annual Los Angeles Event will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 25, at the NeueHouse on Sunset Boulevard. Proceeds from the event benefit Lao Friends Hospital for Children. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Friends of Friends New York Fundraising Event

The 20th annual fundraiser for Angkor Hospital for Children is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 12, in Manhattan. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets and tables.

Third Annual Luang Prabang Gala

The fundraising event is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 18, at the Pullman Hotel in Luang Prabang, Lao PDR. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets and tables.

The Carlsberg Classic Golf Tournament

The fundraising tournament is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 19, at the Luang Prabang Golf Club. Proceeds benefit Lao Friends Hospital for Children. The deadline for registration is Oct. 17. Register by email at: lpbgolfclubmarketing@hotmail.com

7th Run for the Children: Luang Prabang Half Marathon

The annual charity race is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 20. Information about the race and online registration are available here.

POSITION AVAILABLE!

LFHC is seeking a Supervising Pediatrician to serve a one-year commitment. This is a salaried position. Information about the position and how to apply can be found here.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!

LFHC is also looking for a Neonatal Nurse to volunteer for a period of 6-12 months. Information about the Neonatal Nurse position and how to apply can be found here.

The hospital is also seeking experienced doctors and nurses to serve as volunteers. Information can be found here.

 

 

 

 

Saving a Malnourished Baby

The parents of a 9-month-old child named Malisa became very concerned when she experienced bouts of vomiting for four days and had lost her appetite.

They brought their baby to the LFHC Outpatient Department, where the staff conducted an evaluation, which included recording her weight, height and upper arm circumference.

The staff compared Malisa’s weight and size to what would be expected for a child her age and determined that she was suffering from severe protein-calorie malnutrition.

The hospital’s nutritionist participated in Malisa’s examination and performed an appetite test.

The nutritionist instructed Malisa’s parents about proper nutrition and how to care for their daughter with RUTF (ready to use therapeutic food). Melisa was prescribed two packets of RUFT per day and her parents were given enough packets to last until they returned for a follow-up appointment.

All children brought to the Outpatient Department are assessed for malnutrition. Nearly 15% show symptoms of moderate or severe acute malnutrition.

Like many of these children, Malisa began to gain weight, thanks to the care of the doctors, nurses and nutritionist at LFHC. After several months, she had gained enough weight to leave the severe malnutrition program.

Last year, more than 150 children were treated for severe or moderate malnutrition. The hospital’s therapeutic food program is designed to dramatically reduce the need to hospitalize malnourished children for long periods.

Nurse Anesthetist Observes Procedures in US

Nurse anesthetist Si Lee recently returned to LFHC after visiting the U.S. to observe anesthesia procedures at medical facilities in Pittsburgh.

Si received a Warfield Scholarship from Health Volunteers Overseas, a Washington D.C. nonprofit, to observe clinical activities at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center-Presbyterian, West Penn Hospital and UPMC Children’s Hospital.

Si also presented a lecture to anesthesia students and faculty at the University of  Pittsburgh School of Nursing and attended the annual American Association of Nurse Anesthetists Congress in Chicago.

Joining Si on the trip was Hor Eng from Angkor Hospital for Children, who also received the scholarship. Richard Henker, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh and a committee chairman with Health Volunteers Overseas, guided both nurses during the U.S. visit.

August Newsletter

UPCOMING EVENTS

Friends of Friends New York Fundraising Event

The 20th annual fundraiser for Angkor Hospital for Children is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 12, in Manhattan. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets and tables.

Third Annual Luang Prabang Gala

The fundraising event is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 18, at the Pullman Hotel in Luang Prabang, Lao PDR. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets and tables.

The Carlsberg Classic Golf Tournament

The fundraising tournament is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 19, in Luang Prabang. Proceeds benefit Lao Friends Hospital for Children. Details are forthcoming.

7th Run for the Children: Luang Prabang Half Marathon

The annual charity race is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 20. Information about the race and online registration are available here.

POSITION AVAILABLE!

LFHC is seeking a Supervising Pediatrician to serve a one-year commitment. This is a salaried position. Information about the position and how to apply can be found here.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!

The hospital is seeking a Human Resources Specialist to serve as a volunteer to train the HR staff. Details can be found here.

LFHC is also looking for a Neonatal Nurse to volunteer for a period of 6-12 months. Information about the Neonatal Nurse position and how to apply can be found here.

The hospital is also seekingexperienced doctors and nurses to serve as volunteers. Information can be found here.

 

 

 

 

LFHC Saves Infant with Rare Chest-Fluid Affliction

   Immediately after Airnoy Khamyai was born in early June, doctors noticed he was having difficulty breathing. LFHC staff drained fluid from the infant’s chest and soon determined that he was afflicted with congenital chylothorax, a rare life-threatening anomaly that causes a substance called chyle to accumulate in the chest.

Dr. Shaun O’Dell, a volunteer neonatologist from Utah, helped the LFHC staff provide the specialized care that Khamyai needed. The nutrition team offered recommendations about feeding the infant and the lab techs centrifuged his breast milk to separate and remove the fat from the milk to reduce chest fluid.

After a little more than a month of intensive care in the Neonatal Unit, Khamyai and his parents returned to their home.

Read more here.

Two LFHC Doctors Begin Pediatric Residency Program

 Dr. Phoumy Manivong, left, and Dr. Bounloth Sordaluck

   Two LFHC doctors will begin training in the Pediatric Residency Program in Vientiane, having finished among the top candidates in a highly competitive, national selection process.

Dr. Bounloth Sordaluck (on right in photo) and Dr. Phoumy Manivong were awarded placements in the three-year program.

Dr. Sordaluck is from Sainyabuli Province and has been working at LFHC for nearly three years. Dr. Manivong is from Vientiane and has been working at LFHC for more than four years. Both said they are eager to gain knowledge and experience in pediatrics because LFHC is treating a growing number of children and handling more complicated medical cases.

Congratulations to both!

Read more here.

Dozens of Children Treated in Dengue Outbreak

 Dr. Phoumy Manivong, left, and Dr. Bounloth Sordaluck

   LFHC has treated 56 laboratory-confirmed cases of dengue since August 1 and handled more than 70 cases in July.

This year’s dengue outbreak far exceeds last year’s outbreak of the mosquito-borne viral disease.

Symptoms typically begin three to 14 days after infection and may include high fever, vomiting, muscle and joint pain and skin rash.

Doctors examine children suspected of being afflicted with dengue, order basic blood tests and compile each patient’s medical history.

Many children suffering from dengue can be managed as outpatients. These patients often return to the Outpatient Department for repeat examinations and evaluations.

Some dengue patients are hospitalized and more closely monitored and given IV fluids.

Kudos to LFHC’s Top English Students

   Congratulations to the Top Students in LFHC English classes during 2018-19 academic year!

The top performers were Nurse Khamxai Xongyikhangsuthpr, Nurse Siamphone Ounsavath, Operating Theatre Nurse Vandee Xiong, Dr. Bounma Sengmanee (Ly) and Pharmacist Thatsadalin Lapphavong (Linda).

As part of their continuous training to become better health-care professionals, LFHC staff participates in English classes at different competency levels with Ajan(teacher) Margaret Froude

Help Create the Pediatric Surgery Fund 

   Children stricken with cancer and heart maladies in northern Laos are dying because their families cannot afford the surgery that could save their lives.

LFHC has neither a staff oncologist nor a heart surgeon. Our doctors must refer children who need such specialists to hospitals in Vientiane or Bangkok. The parents of these children simply don’t have the money to pay for the expensive surgeries at these hospitals. They often return home and their children die.

To save these children we ask you to help launch our Pediatric Surgery Fund. Please click here to make a donation. As always, we thank you for your generous support.

Pedal for the Children

   Tiger Trail, a tour agency in Luang Prabang specializing in biking tours, is offering cyclists packages that promise participants adventure and the opportunity to support Lao Friends Hospital for Children.

Information about these challenging charity bike rides can be found here.

Donate to the charity ride campaign here.

LFHC Doctors Begin Pediatric Training in Vientiane

Two LFHC doctors will soon begin training in the Pediatric Residency Program in Vientiane, having finished among the top candidates in a highly competitive, national selection process.

Dr. Bounloth Sordaluck and Dr. Phoumy Manivong were awarded placements in the three-year program.

Dr. Sordaluck is from Sainyabuli Province and has been working at LFHC for nearly three years. Dr. Manivong is from Vientiane and has been working at LFHC for more than four years. Both said they were eager to gain knowledge and experience in pediatrics because LFHC is treating a growing number of children and handling more complicated medical cases.

The two doctors had to pass a written exam and performance review at LFHC, as well as a written examination in Vientiane, to qualify for the program. During their three years of training, they will rotate among three hospitals.

LFHC will continue to pay the doctors’ salaries. They are expected to return to LFHC at the end of their training and will serve as faculty members in a new pediatric training program being developed by LFHC Medical Education Director Dr. Rathi Guhadasan.

Congratulations to Drs. Sordaluck and Manivong!

LFHC Saves Infant with Rare Chest-Fluid Affliction

Immediately after Airnoy Khamyai was born in early June, doctors noticed he was having difficulty breathing. The delivery room summoned help from LFHC and its team quickly treated the infant with positive pressure ventilation and took him to our hospital’s Emergency Room.

A chest X-ray revealed a large amount of fluid in the right side of the newborn’s chest. Ultrasound imaging confirmed the presence of fluid.

The staff drained more than 100 milliliters (a little more than 3 fluid ounces) from Khamyai’s chest and his breathing quickly improved.Doctors continued to drain fluid during the next day and noticed that the amount was increasing and thickening as the infant’s mother began breastfeeding. This prompted the doctors to make a rare diagnosis of congenital chylothorax, a life-threatening anomaly that causes a substance called chyle to accumulate in the chest.

Dr. Shaun O’Dell, a volunteer neonatologist from Utah, helped the LFHC staff provide the specialized care that Khamyai needed. The nutrition team offered recommendations about feeding the infant and the lab techs centrifuged his breast milk to separate and remove the fat from the milk to reduce chest fluid.

Khamyai and his mother recently returned to LFHC for a follow-up visit. They are pictured here with Dr. Toulayang Briaxa (Joy) and Medical Director Dr. Lisa Rynn (holding the infant).


Infants with this condition need a special type of fat-free baby formula, called MCT formula, which is very expensive and not readily available. A very generous donation through the LFHC Outreach Program provided the special formula that Khamyai required.

After a little more than a month of intensive care in the Neonatal Unit, Khamyai and his parents returned to their home. His family will need to continue feeding him with MCT formula, give him his medications and bring him to LFHC for frequent check-ups and ultrasounds.

July Newsletter

UPCOMING EVENTS

Friends of Friends New York Fundraising Event

The 20th annual fundraiser for Angkor Hospital for Children is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 12, in Manhattan. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets and tables.

Third Annual Luang Prabang Gala

The fundraising event is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 18. Details are forthcoming.

The Carlsberg Classic Golf Tournament

The fundraising tournament is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 19. Proceeds benefit Lao Friends Hospital for Children. Details are forthcoming.

7th Run for the Children: Luang Prabang Half Marathon

The annual charity race is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 20. Information about the race and online registration are available here.

POSITIONS AVAILABLE!

LFHC is seeking a Human Resources Specialist to serve as a volunteer to train the HR staff at the hospital.Details can be found here.

The hospital is also seekingexperienced doctors and nurses to serve as volunteers. Information can be found here.

LFHC also seeks a Supervising Pediatrician to serve a one-year commitment and a Neonatal Nurse for a period of 6-12 months. Information about the Supervising Pediatrician position and how to applycan be found here. Information about the Neonatal Nurse position and how to apply can be found here.

 

LFHC Participates in Major Research Study of Beriberi 

   Thiamine deficiency, commonly referred to as beriberi, is rampant among the patients brought to Lao Friends Hospital for Children, especially among the poorest and most isolated rural children. Without quick treatment, most of these children would die.

By caring for hundreds of children per year with a disease that is found throughout rural populations in Asia and Africa, LFHC has the opportunity to become a center of excellence for patient care, education, and research into beriberi and milder forms of thiamine deficiency.

We are thus proud to have partnered with colleagues at the Institute for Global Nutrition at the University of California, Davis and the Lao Tropical and Public Health Institute to undertake what may be the world’s most comprehensive study into the physiology and pathology of thiamine deficiency in infants. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a large team of researchers has joined LFHC to enroll nearly 700 hospitalized children over the course of the next year who have illnesses consistent with severe thiamine deficiency.

Read more here.

Nurse Anesthetists Program Gains International Recognition 

   LFHC’s process of training nurses in anesthesiology recently gained formal recognition by the International Federation of Nurse Anesthetists.

Three staff members have met all the educational requirements to become graduates of the LFHC Nurse Anesthesia Program. Noy Keopaseuth and Si Ly are the latest graduates. They join nurse anesthetist Kuelee Lao Faiyia, who graduated from the program last year.

The scope of LFHC’s program has already been approved by the Luang Prabang Department of Health.

The three LFHC nurses spent 5-7 months at Angkor Hospital for Children as part of their education. The nurse anesthetists at AHC have received the Golden Apple award from the Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO) organization for their teaching program in 2019.

In the next six months, Kulee will be traveling to the United Kingdom to observe anesthesia care and Si Ly will travel to Pittsburgh to observe anesthesia care.

Read more here.

Surgeons Save Teen Injured in Motorbike Accident

   A motorbike accident left 14-year-old Thong unconscious and injured, so his family rushed him to nearby Nambak District Hospital, where he was treated for his wounds and then referred to Lao Friends Hospital for Children.

After a five-hour journey, Thong and his parents arrived at LFHC. Emergency Room doctors immediately noted that the boy exhibited symptoms indicative of a severe head injury.

A surgical team successfully relieved the pressure from an epidural hemorrhage and Thong gradually recovered during a two-week hospital stay.

Read about his treatment and recovery here.

Luang Prabang Cares: Blood Drive Week 2019

   The Luang Prabang community came together last month to donate blood and support Lao Friends Hospital for Children and the Lao Red Cross in raising awareness about the need for blood donations.

A total of 171 blood donors contributed to the five-day campaign, which ended on World Blood Donor Day (June 14) – 60 more donors than the 2018 campaign.

The donated blood is used at LFHC during surgeries and for transfusions needed by children afflicted with thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder.

View more photos from the campaign here.

Support the Run with Heart Team

   Runners planning to participate in this year’s Run for the Children Luang Prabang Half Marathon are not only training for the event but also busy setting up crowdfunding sites.

One group of runners, the Run with Heart team, invites you to join them for the half marathon or to support their effort by making a donation to their Crowdrise campaign.

The team includes runners from the local community who are participating in the annual charity race to raise money to support Lao Friends Hospital for Children.

The annual half marathon is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 20, in Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in northern Lao PDR.

Information about donating to the race or setting up your own Crowdrise campaign can be found here.

You can donate to support the Run with Heart team here.

  Information about the race and how to register can be seen here.

LFHC Participates in Beriberi Research Project

Thiamine deficiency is rampant among the patients we care for at Lao Friends Hospital for Children, especially among our poorest and most rural children. We see children with severe thiamine deficiency — known as beriberi — on an almost daily basis in children only a few months old.

Without quick treatment, most of these children would die. We often hear sad stories about how a mother has lost several babies in the past with similar symptoms — almost surely beriberi. Beyond these children with very severe disease, nearly every infant has some degree of thiamine deficiency that hasn’t yet become so severe as to risk their life.

Indeed, if there were one single disease that were to define our hospital, it would be beriberi. By caring for hundreds of children per year with a disease that is found throughout rural populations in Asia and Africa, LFHC has the opportunity to become a center of excellence for patient care, education, and research into beriberi and more milder forms of thiamine deficiency. We are thus proud to have partnered with colleagues at the Institute for Global Nutrition at the University of California, Davis and the Lao Tropical and Public Health Institute, to undertake what may be the world’s most comprehensive study into the physiology and pathology of thiamine deficiency in infants. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a large team of researchers has joined LFHC to enroll nearly 700 hospitalized children over the course of the next year who have illnesses consistent with severe thiamine deficiency.

We are very excited to take part in this work — the hospital’s first large research study. As a tertiary-care teaching hospital, we feel obligated to help advance the state of knowledge by conducting research studies into diseases that affect children near and far.

The training that our staff will receive as part of the study will also help develop them into independent investigators in the future, helping empower them in yet another way to be the best pediatric care providers in the country.

More information on the study is available at the project web site: https://picn.ucdavis.edu/research/research_proj/lao-thiamine-study

 

LFHC Nurse Anesthetist Program Gains International Recognition

The hospital’s process of training nurses in anesthesiology recently gained formal recognition by the International Federation of Nurse Anesthetists.

 

Three staff members have met all the educational requirements to become graduates of the LFHC Nurse Anesthesia Program. Noy Keopaseuth and Si Ly are the latest graduates. They join nurse anesthetist Kuelee Lao Faiyia, who graduated from the program last year.

 

The scope of LFHC’s program has already been approved by the Luang Prabang Department of Health.


The three LFHC nurses spent 5-7 months at Angkor Hospital for Children as part of their education. The nurse anesthetists at AHC have received the Golden Apple award from the Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO) organization for their teaching program in 2019.

Friends Without A Border Founder Kenro Izu and Richard Henker, a member of the HVO Board of Directors and a professor of nurse anesthesia at the University of Pittsburgh, initiated the creation of the nurse anesthesia education program at LFHC.

Recognition of the nurse anesthesia program at LFHC by IFNA requires a didactic curriculum and clinical component with anesthetic management of 550 cases.  In addition, nurses in the program are required to take a comprehensive exam.

Educational experiences for the program have included teaching by HVO volunteers in addition to using APEX and Khan Academy, online programs incorporated into many nurse anesthesia programs in the United States.

Clinical instruction was provided mostly at AHC but also at Mahosot Hospital in Vientianne, and Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok.

In the next six months, Kulee will be traveling to the United Kingdom to observe anesthesia care and Si Ly will travel to Pittsburgh to observe anesthesia care. The goal for the LFHC nurse anesthetists in the future is to teach others in the region how to provide high-level anesthesia care.