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Please Don’t Tell Mom!

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by gopalan1937, Nov 6, 2018.

  1. gopalan1937

    gopalan1937 Silver IL'ite

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    Come Deepavali! Brings to one’s mind, memories; sweet to some and bitter to others. For me it is neither; but an important warning not to overlook each and every step in a drill while examining a patient.

    The year 1964. I was a post graduate student in obstetrics and gynecology at Maternity hospital, Egmore, Chennai. I was on night shift from 7PM to 7 AM in the labor ward of the hospital. Next day was Deepavali. Many were on leave and I was alone. Around 10 Pm a young woman of 21years along with her mother reported for admission stating that she was having bleeding per her birth passage with pain and swelling in the abdomen. She had consulted a famous obstetrician who also happened to be my chief. She was advised hospitalization as she was having a tumor in the uterus. She apologized that she had left behind the note given by my chief, while leaving the house in a hurry. Since my chief had already seen and diagnosed her as uterine tumor, I admitted her in the gynae ward without further examination.

    Next night was Deepavali. Around 3AM, this girl was shifted from gynae ward to labor ward as she had profuse bleeding and severe abdominal pain. I was busy then attending to a couple of other cases. Since I knew that she was a case of uterine tumor I advised the sister(Nurse) to give her a shot of pain reliever and proceeded to check other cases undergoing labor pains. Within five minutes the nurse relayed an urgent call and as I approached, I was stunned to find the girl was pushing out a dead foetus. At that moment anger rose in my heart, not against the patient but against myself for not following the drill.

    When I stared at the young woman, she said with folded hands and pleading eyes “Please don’t tell mom”

    As expected, next day I was hauled up before the chief. In front of other students and nurses I was given a dressing down both for failing to check if she had indeed been checked by my chief and also for my inept handling of the case. I think that was the first and last time I failed to follow the drill.
     
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  2. ashima10

    ashima10 Platinum IL'ite

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    Oh God...knowing the doctor's side of a case is as heart wrenching as victims....may god bless you all with strengths and peace.
     
    Adharv and sindmani like this.
  3. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sri Gopalan:

    Deeply pained to read that story. It looks like I would have never made a good physician. It requires a lot of patience and service minded attitude. Particularly, to pay attention to work when so many lives at risk is a remarkable endeavor.

    Viswa
     
  4. Rakhii

    Rakhii Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Oh wow! You brought back my memories of Gray's Anatomy, in a good way. Almost 45 years later, I can tell it still pains you.
     

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