By Yang Zijiang, Wang Weidong
In May 2022, the minimum temperature in Amdo County, Xizang Autonomous Region, was still subzero, when a coach was running in darkness, with cold wind squeezing in through window gaps and the oxygen content outside less than 50% of that in plain area.
The 9 persons onboard were the members of the 20th medical teamsent by the General Hospital of the PLA Eastern Theater Command to provide medical assistance to Xizang. The destination of the 9 team members, respectively from departments of general surgery, or thopedics, obstetrics and gynecology, ENT, and clinical lab, was Amdo County, where they would start a six-month medical assistance mission.
Amdo County, subordinate to Nagqu City, Xizang Autonomous Region, is located at the southern foot of the Tanggula Mountains. With an average altitude of over 4,700 meters, the county seat of Amdo is one of the highest county seats in the world. Amdo features a harsh and fickle climate as shown by heavy wind and snow, almost being in harsh winter all through the year.
In the People’s Hospital of Amdo County, the medical team members carried out disease diagnosis, surgical treatment, special disease screening and rescue, and health science popularization and education, while overcoming obstacles such as hypoxia and language barriers.
In late September, a Tibetan pregnant woman suffered dystocia when giving birth to her baby at the Amdo County Hospital. Head Nurse Wu Dongyun and Head Nurse Zheng Cuixia, both are members of the medical team, arrived in time, and thanks to their professional abdominal pressure, the baby was born. However, due to the long labor process, the newborn suffered from suffocation and cyanosis. Although the medical staff immediately rescued the baby, the situation did not turn up. Desperately, Nurse Wu performed artificial respiration on the baby boy to clear his airway. A few minutes later, the baby gave a cry and cheers filled the delivery room.
After the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic in Xizang, Xu Min, a head nurse, who had participated in the epidemic prevention and control at Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan in 2020, joined the local COVID-19 control working group to make more than 10 inspection tours over 50 key points along the Tanggula National Highway, where Xu carried out on-site training on epidemic prevention and control, provided teaching guidance for personnel working at the epidemic control front-line on the correct use of protective clothing, standardized nucleic acid sampling, disinfection ofkey positions, and specifications on safe inter-personal communication distances.
Since 2001, the General Hospital of the PLA Eastern Theater Command has been offering comprehensive assistance to the hospitals in the Amdo County in the areas of management, technologies, medical staff training and equipment, promoting the overall upgrading of medical technology level of the hospitals and benefiting the local people.