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Shock After Shock

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by gopalan1937, Nov 19, 2018.

  1. gopalan1937

    gopalan1937 Silver IL'ite

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    It was my duty day in the district hospital; which meant I would be spending 7 a.m. of the day to 7 a.m. of next day in the hospital itself. Apart from attending to my routine work I was responsible for all emergency cases and calls Tough day, one may say.

    This duty day started with an emergency patient. A woman in her late forties, said to have sustained severe electrical shock followed by unconsciousness and fall. Upon examination, I noticed there was no life left in her., When I gently conveyed the news, to those who accompanied her, all hell broke loose; Wailings of women rented the air. And the men folk stared dumb founded. Work in the outpatient department came to a standstill. We had to hurriedly bring back order to continue the day’s work.

    As a rule, dead bodies cannot be kept in the outpatient department for long. We must shift them to the mortuary and relatives shall take delivery of the same from there. The suggestion to shift the body to mortuary created unrest among them and I noticed the sign of resistance. I sensed trouble ahead and quietly informed the local police about the accidental death of the woman.

    I anticipated more trouble when I learnt that the deceased’s husband happened to be a councilor of local municipality and belonged to the ruling party. I called him aside and in my gentlest manner conveyed to him that his wife’s body would be taken control by the police who would hold an inquest into the circumstances of the death before releasing the body. This did not go well with him and his men. However, to avoid more tension, I agreed to keep the body in a corner of the outpatient dept without shifting to the mortuary.

    The local sub inspector with a couple of policemen soon arrived and started a formal inquest with the near and dear of the expired woman. They concluded that it was an accidental death and before handing over the body to the relatives, requested a statement from me that she had died of accidental electrocution,

    I informed the inspector that the patient was brought dead to the hospital with a history of electrocution. She did not undergo any treatment in the hospital. Since no postmortem was done, it would not be possible for me to certify that the patient died of electrocution. The police were in a fix now. They expressed their inability to release the body and gently suggested to the councilor to approach their higher ups including the local M.L.A.

    As expected, a meeting was arranged in the chambers of the District Medical Officer along with the local M.L.A and Superintendent of Police, in my presence, to sort out the issue. Ultimately the police decided to release the body as an accidental death with no foul play suspected. While all this was going on, curses were aimed at me behind my back as the culprit of their sufferings. However, I was at peace that the administration didn’t force me to change my stance.

    Surprisingly about a year later, I received summons from the local magistrate court to appear as a witness in a case related to the death of the woman. The councilor had filed a suit against the house owner for poor maintenance of electrical installations resulting in loss of life of his wife. I was quoted as a defense witness.

    The defense lawyer asked me only one question. “Doctor, did the woman die of electrocution?

    Me: “Sir, the woman was brought dead to the hospital with a history of electrocution. As no postmortem was performed on the body, the cause of death could not be confirmed.”

    I came to understand later that the case was dismissed for want of evidence.
     
    Amica, Thyagarajan, poovai and 4 others like this.
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  2. lakshmi1945

    lakshmi1945 Silver IL'ite

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    Dr Gopalan, Did you not find any external evidence on the corpse for electrocution?
     
  3. gopalan1937

    gopalan1937 Silver IL'ite

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    Ms Laksmi, only during the post mortem the body can be explored in full.Hence the question does not arise here.
     
  4. shyamala1234

    shyamala1234 Platinum IL'ite

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    Dear Gopalan Sir,
    In your blogs from the otherside of table.... from the perspective of a doctor. We are usually on this side of table as patients and if something goes wrong we blame the doctor... Especially in Corporate hospitals. So, doctors also face a lot of problems.
    Syamala
     
  5. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Gopalan Sir,

    Perfect professional approach from beginning to end including your testimony in the court.

    Here is a video of what happens when electricity passes in someone's body to understand why doctor is saying postmortem is necessary to find out the cause of death.



    Viswa
     
  6. gopalan1937

    gopalan1937 Silver IL'ite

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    Ms Shyamala, You have rightly pointed out. Many a time a few patients ,for reasons best known to them discard sane advice and suffer;but by that time damage has been done, like in this case. Thanks for your feedback.
     
  7. gopalan1937

    gopalan1937 Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Viswa sir, Thanks for your appreciation. thanks for a nice video. Very rarely, we come across death due to electrocution. Hence postmortem appearances are difficult to detect by inexperienced. Even in this case I would have sought assistance from qualified forensic expert.
     
    Viswamitra likes this.
  8. Amulet

    Amulet IL Hall of Fame

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    Dr. Gopalan
    If you had not seen the episodes of "All Creatures great and small", I'd recommend them for you. Your anecdotes as a young doctor are beginning to sound like they could become quite a dramatic series:thumbsup:.
     
  9. gopalan1937

    gopalan1937 Silver IL'ite

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    Ms.Amulet, Thanks for your appreciation and encouragement. would view video at my leisure.
     
  10. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    It is laudable doctor that you stood to rules and regulations and maintained the stand that you took from the genesis.
    2. Recently I read column news in the popular English daily that a woman engaged in floor CLEANING In mortuary of a Govt. Hospital in TN noticed movement in the covered dead body of a baby and informed the authorities. The senior doctor arrived at the place and checked and shifted the live baby to the ward for further examination and eventually the baby was handed over to mother and connected medical personnel apologised to the family.
    3. WITH Money power story of yours would be 're written bit differently depending upon who wants what & who should be accused. These are the days when Murders made to appear as accidents and vice versa .
    Thanks for sharing.
    Regards.
     

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