Tuesday, March 30, 2010

THE UNTOLD TRUTH...


Currently posted in the Medicine ICU, I’m learning a lot dealing with the intensive care the patients need there. But a case that has caught my eyes is that of a 23 year old engineer,male patient…perfectly alright 2 days back when he developed lower limb weakness…admitted in a private hospital…gets critical…sent to Sion hospital…comes gasping in the EMS…developed hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy…brain dead now…in just 2 days !! Nothing new ? Well, the catch is that he was sent IN AN AMBULANCE FROM THE PRIVATE HOSPITAL WHICH HAD NO OXYGEN CYLINDER IN IT….this is the only petty reason that young man will lose his life.

Sitting in the MICU, I can only watch as the relatives come and see him…Old parents come to his bed….pray…. apply a ‘tika’ on his forehead every morning in the hope that may be it will help him back to life…Mother trying to hold his hand, crying, asking her son to talk to her…continuously speaking…reminding him of old days spent together…may be he is hearing….may be he can hear his mother’s cries….Brother, father, grandparents, everyone there…it is really disheartening to see them crying…I can’t look in their eyes at times...I do not want to see their hopes die, looking in my eyes...I too get very emotional at times...

The family has not yet been informed about the Brain dead status of the patient…They will not be able to face it in such a short interval of time…Who should be held responsible for his death ?...the private hospital doctor for sure…..for being so insane to send a critically ill patient without a basic oxygen ? Why should the family not be told about this? Why should the truth be hidden from them?... it was not the patient’s disease that will eventually claim his life but the unpardonable mistake on the part of that doctor to send him without OXYGEN !!

Because I cannot stand against anything that is wrong, I decided to argue with my senior that the relatives had every right to be told about this…But the only reply I got was that we don’t put our colleagues into trouble…a MEDICAL ETHIC !!...I better remain quiet…. Is it right I still question ?

Our next line of management….Keep the patient on the ventilator for 1 more week, raise their hopes in these 7 days,eventually declare the patient brain dead…and then ENCOURAGE THE RELATIVES FOR ORGAN DONATION….

Sad…I can’t help much…But it has left an impact on me…Its very sad, even for us as doctors to look into the eyes of a relative and tell them that the patient is no more…And here we had something more to say, an answer to all their questions…the truth…which will never be told !! The truth...which will be cremated with the patient !!

5 comments:

mrigank said...

thats insane. and why does the senior have a problem wid reporting the errant doc? after all, he's in a private hospital.

taurius1 said...

It happens way too much. :(
And it hurts more when there's other people's lives involved.

Enigma said...

it is worse than what i have seen till now... but don't worry mohit. what goes around comes around. justice will be served and the erring persons will pay for it in this very world...

Harsh Parekh said...

I am enraged and aggrieved. While I agree that being righteous can be difficult for you here, nothing is preventing you from suggesting measures which might prevent such mishaps in the future. For instance, why not have a second opinion for every patient in the hospital. Two doctors can be assigned to every patient. One which attends to the patient and the other which just oversees the treatment. This might help prevent catastrophies because of amateaurish errors. May be my suggestion is not feasible logistically but I am sure you can come up with better ones.

Anonymous said...

All can be