India 2013

USIG/International Project Summary

Location: Vellore, India
Duration of trip: June 19, 2013 – July 22, 2013


Please provide names and contact information for the following.
Student Travelers:
Michael Richley, Alexandra Dunn, Asal Askarinam, Tiffany Cho, Zachariah Chandy, Kevin Ting, Tanya Wilcox, Simone Vernez

Faculty Advisor:
George Chandy

International Organization/University: Christian Medical College, Vellore, India


Description of Project:

Please describe the project that your group worked on for Summer 2013. Include what you did to prepare for the trip and what took place while you were abroad. 500 words or less.

Our group undertook two ultrasound research projects while in the ICU at the Christian Medical College in Vellore: one, evaluating fluid responsiveness in hemodynamically-unstable patients, and two, diagnosing sinusitis. To prepare for the trip, we used UCI Medical School’s ultrasound machines to practice, as well as visited the UC Irvine Emergency Department, under the direction of Dr. John Chris Fox, to help us practice our skills on actual patients. While in India, we succeeded in piloting these two projects at the Christian Medical College, an institution that is passionate about incorporating ultrasound into its curriculum and practices.


Outlook for Summer 2014:

Please describe how you foresee the next group of medical students continuing your project during the Summer of 2014. Include what you learned this summer (any barriers or obstacles your overcame) and what the next class of international travelers can do to make the project sustainable. 500 words of less.


We learned a considerable amount this summer, both about ultrasound technique and the process of doing research abroad in general, including completing an IRB application. One of the most challenging parts of the experience was ensuring that patients were consented properly for the study. Many patients, especially those in the ICU, were asleep, unconscious, or on ventilators, which required us to gain consent from their family members and we also needed to make sure the consent forms were in the language of the patient. Additionally, the fluid responsiveness study required us to take ultrasound measurements before and after fluid administration; because fluid administration is often an emergency, life-sustaining procedure for low blood pressure, there often wasn’t time for us to complete the scan without risk of delaying treatment. There is significant potential for continuing both of these projects in India. Since we only had one week in the hospital, we often felt rushed.  The physicians at CMC were so thankful for our presence and we were able to get some preliminary data that propelled the projects forward. The only thing that would make the project more sustainable would be to spend more time in the ICU, at least 1 month, and for students to practice cardiac exams before they go to India. This would be an incredibly worthwhile project to continue and there would be ample support from the CMC in Vellore.



Ultrasound machines/supplies:

Please discuss which ultrasound machines you took and how many. Also list any other necessary supplies.

We did not take any ultrasound. We borrowed some iPad chargers and adapters from UCI IT.


Breakdown of budget/travel expenses:

Please outline the cost of your trip.

Our trip was generously funded by the John Tu foundation.

Here is the breakdown:

Total Cost: $2735 per person
Cost of airfare: $1400-$1800.
Cost of van from Chennai to Vellore: $40/person
Fees at CMC: $100
Living expense: Modale House + food: $15/day
Cost of train from Vellore to Mysore: $10
Cost of jeep from Mysore to Gudalur: $40/person
Fees + living expenses Gudalur: $350/person/week
Cost of jeep from Gudalur to Mysore: $40/person
Cost of Train from Mysore to Bangalore: $10/person
Cost of Van from Bangalore station to NH: $10/person
Cost of hotel in Bangalore: $25/day
Food in Bangalore: $10/day


For 5 individuals:




Travel Advice/Tips:

Please describe any travel advice or tips you have for the next group. This can include travel logistics (airports, buses), fun activities to do before or after the project etc.

For the next group, make sure to have fun! There are a lot of beautiful sights in India and make the most of your trip while you are there! Be careful about what you eat and drink, but experience all of the rich culture in India that you can!

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