Report from TecateSmiles Mission to Mexico November 2022

Partnership Projects of Children’s Lifeline™ & Smiles International

  • Number of patients prescreened via new remote answering service: 210
  • Number of patients allowed to come for anesthesia clearance: 15
  • Cases selected for reconstruction on 2.5 day mission surgical days: 9
  • Number of cases rescheduled due to medical reasons developed: 1
  • Surgical reconstructive procedures performed: 24
    • (reason for multiple procedures performed under the same pediatric anesthesia; it was performed this way in order to make best use of the opportunity for child’s overall safety with less exposures to anesthesia throughout care.)
  • Relative value of cases if performed in the USA at hospital setting with specialist anesthesia , surgeons, and nursing facility charges: $128,050.00 USD

Patient Notification and Screening

Mechanism of Patient Notifications: At this year’s November 2022 TecateSmiles Cleft mission surgical clinic, the team was able to confirm the function of the newly instituted remote screening and triage system. Advertisements guided patients, their parents, and neighbors to a single point phone number which instructed them to leave their contact information. A team volunteer from Rotary Clubs who lives in Mexico would call back on the weekend to gather specifics of their needs, ask them to send photos, scanned copies of x-rays or CTs (if Available in certain syndromic cases), and supply the service with their physical location to best schedule their visit if selected for possible surgery by the medical team.

This information was collated and sent to Dr. Moses, who then held a preclinic teleconference with the medical surgical/anesthesia team. Armed with this information, decisions were made for the selection of safety outcome based and surgical expertise outcome cases for arranging for the candidates to be physically screened on the first day of the clinic. This process avoided the lengthy and crowded conditions usually present using prior methods for mission care case selections. It also allowed us to have Dr. Moses carefully arrange the appropriate surgeons with the necessary skill sets to operate each of the variety of cases well ahead of the day of the clinic. Minimization of COVID-19 exposure risks was obtained by this method, satisfying the local health authorities and avoiding blockages that affected other mission projects. The mission provided on-site COVID-19 testing of the parents and children, if required prior to their scheduling and following Anesthesia Health Clearances.

Increase in Cases

There are many more cases that are beginning to re-appear in the community after the closure of health care facilities and clinics during the Pandemic. This Children’s Lifeline International/Smiles International Foundation project is at the heart of the reconstruction of mission health care on the Baja-Mexico peninsula. We are now in similar stages of planning for the case selections for the February 4-11, 2023 CaboSmiles project.

The Team

Team members working at the Nov22 TecateSmiles clinic (although some members are missing in photos):

Hospital Setup/Takedown Smiles Action Volunteer Group (SAVG)
Med-Surgical/Anesthesia/Nursing Team

First Case Study

This one illustrates a girl who traveled over 11 hours for the chance of obtaining surgery, aided by the perseverance of her mother. They arrived at the confirmation Anesthesia & Surgical Clearance Screening early morning from the distant town of San Luis Colorado in the Sonoran Desert. In the early morning, after hours of traveling throughout the day and evening before, this sweet little girl drew the lucky straw and became the first case of the TecateSmiles Children’s Lifeline International/Smiles International Foundation’s partnership clinic Nov22.

Hopeful mother
Dr. Moses assures space in schedule
Mother prepares
Surgeon gets “acquainted?”
Anesthesia/surgeon carry to operation
No tears for Baby #1
All asleep and ready!
Team goes into action
Surgeons operate
Looking much better!
Mother relaxed, happy and at peace

That evening, they were put into a local residence hotel, and seen the following morning before other cases resumed, and released for their long journey home.

Additional Cases (Random Selection)

And many, many more children wait in the wings…

Blessings for these children and their families in part sprang from the wonderful partnership formed between Children’s Lifeline International® and the Smiles International Foundations.

Prof. Jeffrey J. Moses DDS, FAACS
Diplomate, Amer. Board Oral/Maxillofacial Surgery President/Founder,
Smiles International Foundation

Related Posts