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In This Issue: 
  • High-Risk Pregnancies
  • Hospitalito Laboratory
  • Thanks Nathan!

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Hospitalito Atitlán needs your support. Donate Today!
Your support makes it happen!

Your help ensures that we can continue to offer quality health services to those in need.
Your Donation will be MATCHED by the Samir D. Gergis Charitable Trust!

And checks can be mailed to:
Amigos Hospitalito Atitlán 
PO Box 256
Jonesport, ME 04649 
Phone: (207) 598-5964


Special Thanks to Our Most Recent Donors:
Trinity Lutheran Church
Dr. Glen Dean
World Diabetes Foundation
Lynne & Stanley Abraham
Alexandra Duisberg
Sofia Novoa
George Montague
Jane Werner
Elizabeth Shepard
Heather Pierce
Katy Hoffman
Judy Fleishman
Jennifer Jaggi
Rob Meyer
Jean Miscall
Celeste Gibbons
Marty Yudice
Michael Doane
Sharon Warren
Eric Gidseg
Steve & Debbie Zients
University of Virginia
Samir D. Gergis Charitable Trust
Charles Veith
Arturo Matew
Club Rotario Guatemala del Este
Archdioceses of Oklahoma City
Lisa Gatti
John Doyle
Westwind Studios
Leslie J. Yerman
Anne and Rob Meyer
Dr. Kevin Bjork
Jimmy Hutchison
Judy Royer
Nathan Boddy
Johanna Drielling
Chad Knaus
Jesuit College and Prep School
Ulf Lewin
Jennifer Audette
Farmer to Farmer
Global Smile Foundation
Taiwanese Embassy in Guatemala
Zane State College
Laura Wishik
Pura Vida Project
University of Rhode Island Physical Therapy Students
University of Pennsylvania
Dan Cummins
Daniele Agostino Derossi
Friends Cork County Ireland

We work closely with Rotary Clubs from around the world. If your local chapter may be interested in helping the hospital get much needed medical equipment, please contact us at: 
Medical Volunteers

Dr. Andrew Smith
Dr. Brent Burket
Dra. Jennifer Thoene
Dr. Aaron Greenblat
Dra. Yael Eskinaki
Dr. Ryan Hunt
Dr. Andrew Trent
Dra. Claire Reardon
Dra. Katie Cocker
Dr. Patrick Hohl
Dr. Brian Morris
Dra. Kate Connely
Dra. Noel Strong
Sarai Izzeldin
Denise Franko
Javier Albaladejo Magdalena
Nicole Araneta
Katie McKenna
Elizabeth Pascall
Laura Anderson
Dr. Ted Ning
Dr. Mark Andreas Boss
Dra. Sophia Homberg
Dra. Marie Olson
Dr. David Donegan
University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Glen Dean
David Krise, DDS
Eric Lopez-Baca
Tyler Bond
Cimmy Starr
Richard Parrish
Mary White
Katie Collins
Jake Bevilacqua
Josh Fogarty
Amanda Seymour
Philip Johnson
Jami Smith
Russ Lynn
Carla Fisher
Gonzalo Bautista
Tom Sellitto
Alan Schuricht
Rebecca Good
Amy Lamoreau
Aaroyn Reed
Mike Huber

Non-Medical Volunteers

Corrina Voll
Somos Hermanos
Phil Sperl
Mike Bredimus
Tom Schussman
Ana Paola Leiva
North Carolina State Global World Health
Vinny Stanzione

Maternal Infant Program 

These babies are hoping that they can find another sponsor to help them during their first years.

Help a child have a healthy life by becoming a sponsor



The Samir D. Gergis Charitable Trust
Gives Hospitalito Atitlán another
$30,000 Challenge Grant.
Donate NOW! 
Your Support is making a BIG Difference!

High Risk Pregnancies End with Healthy Deliveries

Dra. Sophia Homberg from Bonn, Germany was present during an emergency C-section where these two twins were born.

The past two-and-a-half weeks have been remarkable ones for labor and delivery at the Hospitalito. We’ve delivered 14 babies, which is about twice as busy as normal. But what’s most impressive is not the volume of the deliveries but the degree of acuity and complexity involved in the care of the mom-baby pairs. In Santiago, 50 percent of the women plan to deliver at home with comadronas (traditional birth attendants.) Half of the remaining 50 percent deliver at the public centro de salud, which has one small delivery room and relatively few resources. The other 25 percent deliver at the Hospitalito. For the home births, the comadronas do a fine job when low-risk moms have straightforward deliveries. And in the centro de salud, the doctors do a great job with the available resources, but they are unable to deal with anything that involves a higher-risk situation. And so – the patient population that shows up at the Hospitalito is a high-risk subset of the total prenatal population in town. This situation highlights the importance of having a hospital that can deal with acute complications of childbirth in a town that has more than 50,000 people. Some kinds of birthing care simply could not be delayed the two hours needed to travel to the nearest hospital outside of Santiago. This emergency-care safety net demonstrates one important role the Hospitalito plays in providing essential maternal-child health to the people of Santiago Atitlán.
Here is a summary of some of the cases from the past couple of weeks:

• A 30-year-old woman came in with vaginal bleeding at 30 weeks of pregnancy. She had not received any prenatal care. At the Hospitalito we quickly diagnosed placenta previa by ultrasound, administered steroids to help the baby’s lungs develop, and transferred the patient to an outside hospital more equipped to manage her care.

• A 27-year-old woman at 35 weeks was transferred from the centro de salud for an abruption. On arrival, the baby was in acute distress. Despite arriving in the evening when only one doctor was working, three other volunteer doctors answered the call to come in and do anesthesia, baby resuscitation, and help out with the surgery. The baby was born within an hour of arrival.

• A 31-year-old woman was induced because she was past her due date. She was given medicine to start her labor and monitored closely. Fifteen hours later, a perfectly healthy boy was born.

• A 21-year-old woman was transferred from the centro de salud for high blood pressure. On arrival at the Hospitalito, she was diagnosed with preeclampsia and started on magnesium to decrease her risk of seizure. She did not progress past 5 cm. and ended up needing a c-section. Despite the fact that it was 5 a.m. when the decision was made to do the c-section, two volunteer doctors came in from home to do anesthesia and the surgical assist. The baby weighed 9 pounds, which is very big for a 4 ft. 11 in., 160 lb. woman. During her post-operative time in the hospital her blood pressure was monitored closely. She and her baby did great.

• A 19-year-old woman was transferred to the Hospitalito after she had three eclamptic seizures at home. On arrival she quickly got magnesium and an ultrasound and was put on the fetal monitor. After a couple of minutes of seeing the baby on the monitor, it was decided that she needed a c-section. She got pre-operative antibiotics and anti-nausea medicine within minutes. Despite the fact that it was a Sunday afternoon, again three volunteers were present to do the c-section, anesthesia and baby care. The c-section was uneventful. Post-operatively she developed a very rare and extremely dangerous condition called HELLP syndrome. The team was prepared for the worst but ecstatic to see her make a complete recovery.

• A 24-year-old, first-time pregnant woman at 38 weeks was transferred from the centro de salud, contracting with preeclampsia. She had not received any prenatal care and was brought in by her comadrona. On her arrival, we confirmed what the centro de salud had diagnosed – twins! The second twin was breech. Given that this was her first pregnancy and that we didn’t feel safe attempting a vaginal delivery, the patient elected to have a c-section. We suggested that she deliver at the government hospital because the babies looked little, about 5 lbs. each.  The family refused the transfer, and they were talking about going home. In the end we convinced them to stay. We did a c-section and she had two very vigorous and healthy although small babies: 4 lbs. 6 oz. and 4 lbs., 2 oz. The babies ended up getting transferred in the morning. They have done great at the government hospital.

• A 22-year-old 40 wk G2P1 was transferred from centro de salud at 10 cm. She had been pushing for “hours” without progress. After an hour of no change here, she was taken back for a c-section. The baby came out great. Mom had a history of post-partum hemorrhage that had required an operation after the delivery of her first kid. Again, she had a massive postpartum hemorrhage. In total, she lost about two and a half liters of blood. Thankfully we were able to stop the bleeding with medicine. We filled her up with many liters of intravenous fluids and transferred her to the government hospital where she could get a blood transfusion. After several days and a couple of return trips to the operating room, she is finally improving.

• A 34-year-old woman could not get past 6 cm. and had a c-section for failing to progress.  At the c-section the baby was found to be “sunny-side up”.  Mom and baby did great.

• A 28-year-old woman with a history of two prior c-sections came in and was found to be 10 cm. We prepared the operating room for an emergency c-section. No one in the U.S. would ever plan to do a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section) on a woman with a history of two prior c-sections. She had an uneventful VBAC.

• Two separate but similar cases – two women came in who had been unsuccessfully pushing at home for several hours with comadronas. They each needed vacuums to pull the babies out due to maternal exhaustion. In each case, the health and welfare of the mom and baby depended on having a safe place to deliver, a well-staffed labor-and-delivery ward and hospital, a clean operating room, the resources to provide care (suture, surgical tools, medicine, ultrasound machine, vacuums, etc.), and a robust group of volunteer physicians who were available on-call whenever help was needed. I don’t know what would have happened to all the moms and babies over the last few weeks if the Hospitalito hadn’t been here. But I think the care they received is a very real demonstration of what Hospitalito Atitlan has to offer to this relatively poor, indigenous Guatemalan town.

submitted by Dr. Andrew Smith

Hospitalito Atitlán Upgrades its Lab!

Upgrading the Hospitalito’s lab has been an ongoing priority.  And doing so wouldn’t be possible without the generous donations of our supporters.
First it was the scholarship for Cristobál Ramírez to become a lab technician, then the Microlab 300, thru a Rotary International grant. This year Elida Marisela, a chemical biology resident from the University of San Carlos will be working with the hospital for six months.
Lab results are now reliable and consistent since the installation of Quality Control.  This precision system ensures that the lab produces similar results over time and under varying operating conditions.  We are proud that the Hospitalito is the first medical facility in Sololá (the department in which Santiago Atitlán is located) with the QC system.
The lab will soon install a laboratory ventilation hood, to protect hospital workers from exposure to biological pathogens.  Dr. John Nelson and Rita Nelson donated the hood.
We’re looking forward to additional donations that will allow us to turn our lab into a first class facility. 

Thanks Nathan and Chad!


This is Nathan Boddy with the nice Toyota pick-up truck he and his wife owned until yesterday, when he donated it to Hospitalito Atitlán. He drove to Santiago Atitlán from his home in Hamilton, Montana with friend Chad Knaus. They were on the road for ten days. 

Nathan's wife Johanna Drielling is a past medical volunteer as is Dr. Chad Knaus. 

The truck will be used to take medical staff and supplies to the community outreach clinics in Cerro de Oro and San Antonio Chacaya, and to pick up staff in the night when they are needed for emergency surgery. Many of Nathan's friends chipped in on the cost of their trip, for fuel, hotels, and to pay the import taxes. 

Nathan feels he has found a good home for an old friend.


Hospitalito Atitlán is now offering Continuing Medical Education credits for physicians and nurses who want to learn Medical Spanish. Each course is conducted over one week in beautiful Santiago Atitlán, and physicians and nurses can earn up to 25 CME credits. Courses are scheduled ten times through 2013.

This program was made possible through a partnership between the Hospitalito and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, which is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians and nurses. 

To learn more and to sign up, visit us at:



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