Practicing with Promotoras…and a Puppy?!?

Early yesterday morning, Leticia and I crammed into a cab that had nine passengers, even though it was made to comfortably fit five (just another normal transportation adventure in Ollanta). We arrived in the community of Patacancha where we were going to administer post-tests and reviews for the promotoras. We hiked up to Victoria’s house first and were greeted by the cutest bear puppies. Victoria came out of the house in her natural state of smiles. She always brightens up our day with her optimistic joy and cheer. We started by giving her the post-test and then continued with the review of vomiting, cough and hypothermia. Her husband joined the review since he has a great interest in health and he actually proved to be a valuable resource. Victoria used him as a model and walked us through the Heimlich Maneuver. Although she was shy throughout the process, she showed herself to be extremely knowledgeable.

Promotora Victoria demonstrates the Heimlich on her husband
Promotora Victoria demonstrates the Heimlich on her husband

After the Heimlich we moved into the CPR review. We normally use a dummy for this; however, the dummy was a bit heavy to carry back down the mountain so we had to improvise. I stood in as the dummy for the adult CPR review, laying down on the floor and letting Victoria perform the steps of CPR on me. She had retained the information very well on this subject, which was great to see.

Then we moved on to performing CPR on an infant. Here is where major improvisation happened. Leticia was trying to show the steps with an air baby but gave up… and instead looked around the room and moved on to one of the puppies! She picked him up and turned him on his back on her arm and began doing compressions. It was amazing! She continued by even trying to open the puppy’s mouth and doing the mouth-to-mouth motion. I have to say that the puppy made a wonderful patient: he played dead and everything. What a great little actor!

A community puppy 'volunteers' to sit in as a baby for a demonstration of the Heimlich (with SVH nurse Leticia)
A community puppy ‘volunteers’ to sit in as a baby for a demonstration of the Heimlich (with SVH nurse Leticia)

We wrapped things up and started our 17 km hike back down to Ollanta. All in a day’s work!

Written by New SVH Community Coordinator Jackie Reynoza

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