Sunday, May 4, 2014
In the sea of patients that we manage to "see" every day , some come back to haunt.
Recently I have made a few bad calls while dealing with patients.
Although I would like to shrug this off as having to work too much or being overloaded with work or just being too touchy about it , I know that it should never have happened in the first place.
I should have been more courteous and careful in dealing with them.
While in ER , last week a guy was lying in the pre-op waiting for his turn for the operation. He had been having a pain in his right illiac fossa for three days and was to undergo a appendectomy. He kept complaining of pain although he had already been given pain-killers. His wife was sitting with him on the bed. She kept hassling the staff and junior doctors about them not being given any treatment and so forth...( Common sights in an under-developed country like ours)
I don't know why but I just asked her to get out of there and if she didn't , I'd send his hubby out of the OT. She became quiet and didn't say a word but the poor guy kept complaining of pain. As I kept my hand on his abdomen , I understood the reason for his agony. He probably had an appendix which had perforated a couple of days back. He was given NSAIDs and narcotics but still his pain wouldn't go away.
Imagine my guilt when I had to explain to his wife post-operatively that he had a perforated gangrenous appendix which almost involved the caecum. Next day when I went to see the patient he only said that had we operated earlier his appendix wouldn't have perforated.
Had I not talked so badly to them , I wouldn't be blaming my self...
( his appendix had perforated even before he landed in the ER)
Last night I went to the ER lab where I happened to meet an old lab technician who had brought a patient to the ER a few weeks back. I was just getting free from a hectic 36 hour call.
She had chronic liver disease, diabetes , hypertension and had now developed cellulitis.I just took a brief look at her and "ordered" them to go to the dresser and just get a dressing.
Yesterday he told me that she died a few days later and how I would have to face her in the next world. . .