During the morning, just after we finished our ward round, a young man together with his wife approached the clinic at Makunduchi Hospital. He was wearing a colourful kanga (fabric scarf) wrapped around his head and appeared to be a bit shy to tell us what had happened.
After talking with the couple for a while, we found out that he had a wound which he was covering with his kanga. Finally we could convince him to let us carefully take of the kanga from his head.
What we then found was, that the complete lower part of his ear was only left attached to a very little skin bridge. The rest was completely ripped off and hanging loose.
Talking to the couple we found out that they had had a fight in the night before and the wife had bitten off her husband's ear!
Unfortunately they had then waited for almost 9 hours to come to the clinic. Here we cleaned the wound and were able to re-fix it under local anaesthesia under quite sterile circumstances despite of the wounds age.
We prescribed antibiotics for 7 days and gave an tetanus vaccination. The patient came back to the clinic for daily changing of the dressing for one week and the wound healed quite well during that time. After that he unfortunately did not attend the clinic any more for further treatment, but we hope he has continued to improve.
Dr. Anna Rutjes, Makunduchi