Chest pain patient searches for answers

In June, a gentleman attended our ‘emergency night shift’ clinic suffering from weakness, difficulty breathing and pains in his head and chest. Though he’d been living in Greece since February, he described the feeling as ‘like having malaria’, and he’d even accessed antimalarial drugs from a camp neighbour which hadn’t helped his symptoms.

A physical examination showed us that he had a high temperature, as well as low blood oxygen saturation, shallow breathing and abnormal lung sounds. We decided to perform a point-of-care lung ultrasonograph test, which revealed that he had a build-up of fluid around the lungs - a severe and sometimes life-threatening complication of pneumonia.

After providing a negative COVID-19 test, an ambulance was immediately called and the patient was taken to hospital for specialist treatment.

Cases such as these demonstrate the danger of living in an environment where 24/7 medical care is not necessarily available. We hope to give our patients the reassurance that when they’re in need of treatment, either we or our partner NGOs on the ground will be there so they don’t have to deal with their problem alone.

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