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Journal of a Seaplane Cruise Around The World
Part One: The Atlantic Ocean

Thursday, September 6 - The Queen Alexandria Hospital

Reykjavik to Myggenes This is a modern structure, built some 10 years ago by the Danish, at a cost of $150,000. It serves the entire country in addition to the town, and is administered by Denmark. It has about 100 beds and is in the charge of Mr. Pauli Dahl, a young surgeon, who was trained in Copenhagen, although a native of the Faroes. He has one medical assistant, and together they carry the entire responsibility, including routine laboratory work, x-ray, etc. Dahl a fine chap; keen, pleasant, conscientious. His field of surgery runs from brain abscess through N.E.T., chest (a special favorite of his for collapse measures), abdomen, urology, gynecology, obstetrics and all else. He seems excellently trained and knows every angle of the art.

The arrangement of the operating room was simple, and the sterilizers were placed in the next room. The continental fashion of wearing heavy rubber boots is followed. The hospital is full, often with six patients to a four-bed room, but so liberal a provision was made for space that even this does not crowd the wards. Tpr. charts good -- in fact the ward care is better than in most American hospitals. We saw a p.p. woman after manual extraction whose temperature was normal; - three kids with congenital hips, all in 90-90-90 plaster position; -- last night's appendix; -- a thoracoplasty p.o.; -- a gall bladder p.o. - and some good x-ray plates.

It was 10 P.M. and we could not go far, because the patients were mostly asleep. We finished after seeing a youngster, who was dying of tbc. meningitis; eyes rolled over to the left, etc. It was a baby of three and had been brought in from Myggenes, the most westerly island. Conditions there are appalling; population 180 and only about 20 houses. Tuberculosis is widespread all over the little island, due chiefly to a dangerous carrier who is said to go about the streets spitting on the children. In the past four months eight patients have been brought in, children from two to sixteen, with active and usually fatal tuberculosis. The disease is present to some extent throughout the islands, and I suppose it may be due partly to the scarcity of sunlight, because the islands are famous for their prevailing fog. Myggenes has just gone through another tragedy, because last Spring twenty sailors were drowned on a fishing boat.

Back through the quaint little town and up the hill on the other side to our domicile. We were weary and ready for bed, but arrived to find that a tea party had been arranged for 11:30. Fortunately it was a small affair, and during it Mr. Niclason brought out his extraordinary collection of some 10,000 postcards, of which he generously gave us a great many. There is much beauty to the islands and one could spend many pleasant days going about their rocky slopes.

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