As an assistance company, we treat dozens of complicated medical cases every day. Some of them, though, stay in our memories for a very long time – one case in Peru, South America, approximately 100 kilometers from Iquitos, in the middle of the jungle, is a perfect example. This place was a dream destination for our client, a young explorer and traveller, though he did not plan to stay there for such a long time. Everyday life in a small Amazon village is simple but not easy for an ordinary European, who tends to be unaccustomed to using tools other than a smartphone or a computer. Briefly speaking, our client cut his leg with an axe, injuring himself acutely. The wound did not heal, and our client could not walk. He sent us photos of his foot with many stitches in; the wound was inflamed, purulent and dangerously swollen. In the following days there was no improvement, and antibiotic therapy applied by a local doctor did not work, probably because of the local climate.
At first, our doctors intended to organise transport to the nearest hospital, but the only possible means of transportation from this remote area was a long waterway transfer, which was not adequate for a medical evacuation of this nature. Besides which, our client decided to stay where he was and try the local antibacterial and antiinflammatory drugs from Amazonian trees, under control of a local doctor who visited him every two days. This kind of treatment works in the end, but takes a long time. There was no phone contact with our client, and only rarely an email exchange. Our doctors planned appointments with treating doctor, and we transferred all information we had back to the client’s family in Poland.
We were ready to organise emergency evacuation to the hospital in Lima if our client’s condition worsened
Treatment continued with Amazonian drugs. Our doctor was in contact with the treating local doctor, and the case was evaluated on the basis of these contacts and also the photos that were being sent to us. We were ready to organise emergency evacuation to the hospital in Lima if our client’s condition worsened. The client’s recovery took a long time, but finally, repatriation was possible. The client was safely transported back to Poland by regular flight. The cooperation between a local doctor and our doctors was very fruitful despite the different methods of treatment. Barbara Warlikowska, International Network Manager, commented: “As an assistance company we have expanded our network of providers all over the world. However, some situations force us to be more flexible. Sometimes you should not insist on your elaborated methods when the alternative way is more effective and appreciated. We have to find the balance between procedures and real aid we can provide to our clients.”