From June 6 to June 9, NSVI will conduct its 16th vasectomy mission in Haiti.
Visiting doctors are asked to bring:
1. Headlights and extra batteries. I will have a few extra headlights for our Haitian trainees, but if you have more than one, please bring an extra for a trainee. Having seen many lights brought by guest vasectomists, I thought the best for the money was the LED Lenser H7 for $25 at LEDsupermall or the Coast HL7 for $31 on Amazon. But I recently purchased a 2-pack of Coast FL82 headlamps for only $19.88 at Home Depot.
Rechargeable units can be more of a nuisance than just changing batteries periodically. We have had 2 LED Lenser units that would turn off spontaneously after just a few minutes. They go back on with a button press, but then go off again. A real nuisance. Not yet a problem with the Coast HL7s or Coast FL82s.
2. Optical loupes if you are a loupes user. My take on loupes is HERE.
3. Your NSVI shirts from prior missions, if applicable.
4. 80 pairs of surgeon’s gloves in your size. Powdered gloves are easier to don when we have no A/C, but they are now banned in the USA. We work together on so many cases that each vasectomy ends up “consuming” 2 pairs of sterile gloves.
5. 1 box of 100 non-sterile gloves in your size. Better yet, 1 box of 300 nitrile gloves. They pack more tightly than latex gloves, go on almost as easily, and may be cheaper. I find vinyl gloves to be difficult to don.
6. Your re-usable thermal cautery unit handle (and six tips) if you have one.
7. Nuts, soybeans, granola bars, etc. for lunches. We eat big for breakfast and dinner, but scarf lunch while traveling between morning and afternoon sites.
8. Copies of your medical degree, specialty certification, and current medical license. I carry mine in my computer case in a plastic sheet protector.
9. It’s nice to bring your own MadaJet … (1) I can bring one fewer, which cuts down on my weight, and (2) it’s good to practice MadaJet care if you plan to perform vasectomies at more than one site in your geographic region. Pack it sterile in a see-through sterilization pouch without its glass cylinder. Autoclave the glass cylinder in a smaller separate pouch and pack that into a rigid container like a plastic pill bottle so that it doesn’t get smashed in transit. Keep the MadaJet brochure with the MadaJet. If you carry it on, put it alone with its brochure in a TSA bin, even if you have TSA PreCheck. TSA will fret over it EVERY TIME, especially if it is “hiding” in your bag. If you leave it in your checked bag, that bag may be delayed at an intervening airport if they run it through another scanner. I check 4-6 MadaJets, but leave them on top of the other supplies in the suitcase with a MadaJet brochure. ON my checked bag and IN my checked bag I affix/insert (in a plastic sheet protector) a page that looks like THIS.
If you don’t have a MadaJet or thermal cautery unit, don’t worry about it. I bring extras.