Unforgettable Experience

REAL STORIES FROM ICU : The senior doctor

Muhammad Haroon

Consultant intensivist, Maxhealth Hospital, Office No. 2/101, G-8 Markaz, Islamabad (Pakistan); Phone: +92 51 809 4760 ; E-mail: haroonoptimist@gmail.com

“We have paid so much amount of money for our patient; if he dies here, we will break the bones of that senior doctor who is not coming to see the patient”, said an aggressive attendant.

“Please calm down, he is busy and operating a critical accident victim with multiple injuries” said ICU medical officer.

“We don’t care about what he is doing. We want him here in next 10 minutes otherwise we are going to turn your hospital upside down.” said another attendant.

Dr S called senior surgeon again. An assistant replied that the surgeon was stuck in an emergent surgery and couldn’t reply.

Meanwhile, the professor of anesthesiology arrived at the scene and asked the doctor what was going on. Why so many people have surrounded the ICU and shouting. What’s wrong with their patient?” He asked. “Sir, their patient has sepsis, MODS, complicated diabetes, stroke and infected bed sores. Family is concerned about his high grade fever, which is not responding to medicines and cold sponging. The physician I/C has advised surgical consultation for debridement of bed sores as it may bring down his fever” told the MO.

After few minutes both doctors entered the waiting hall and were immediately surrounded by angry attendants.

“Here is our head of ICU, Professor I. He has been specially called by hospital admin to address your issues”, said the MO.

“Our patient needs urgent surgery for bed sores and if it’s not done immediately we are going to ….”, started a youthful attendant.

“Yes I agree with you. He needs urgent surgery and we are shifting him straight away to the operating room. The head of surgery and transplantation departments are here with their staff. Your patient has severe anemia and surgery will cause a lot of blood loss. Please go and immediately arrange 8 pints of blood, 12 pints of plasma and 8 pints of platelets.” said the professor.

“This is the responsibility of the hospital to provide blood.” said a family member.

“Yes my dear we will do a complete screening and will process the blood in our blood bank but our bank is short of group O-positive blood and all of you have to donate at least one pint each for your patient. Don’t worry, nothing will happen to the donors. Those below 10 years will donate half pint.”  Said the professor and went back to OT.

The attendants cooled down and looked sadly at each other. They started dispersing. The younger boys disappeared from the scene first. The professor re-entered and announced that both kidneys of patient have failed and he urgently needs a kidney to survive. So all attendants must get HLA typing to match kidney for donation.

After 30 minutes of the announcement, the MO entered anesthesia room with a smile on his face, “Sir, only the patient’s wife and son are left outside and they are asking if they could purchase blood and kidney from somewhere as they are unable to arrange it”.