Today several news programs covered the tragic story of the Connecticut woman who was mauled by a chimpanzee. According to MSNBC, a team of surgeons worked for seven hours to try to save the woman. Hearing this story reminded us of the work our surgical partners in developing countries do periodically---usually alone and without state-of-the-art medical equipment---but still with results better than thought possible.
For example, Dr. Yogi Aeron, Interplast outreach director in Northern India and one of the few reconstructive plastic surgeons in the region, is known for his expertise in restoring functionality to those who have been bitten by wild bears. Dr. Goran Jovic, Interplast surgical outreach director and the only plastic surgeon in Zambia, has helped heal those attacked by hyenas (see photo above, caution graphic photos when following links) and chimpanzees. Both surgeons work in near isolation, in developing world hospitals with dated infrastructure, on the poorest of the poor; yet, they are able to miraculously give the neediest in our midst the care they need after tragic animal accidents.
Interplast supports them with oversight and funding, as well as teaching tools like Interplast Grand Rounds, a web-based program that connects isolated, developing world surgeons with a global network of medical professionals for advice on difficult cases. Read more about reconstructive surgery in Zambia for the hyena and chimpanzee attacks, see below and after photos and view the thread of global advice on Interplast Grand Rounds.
Caution graphic photos when following links