Coming off from my previous post on P.U.O. wherein I fully supported doctors saying they did not know what to do, this week came a rather unpleasent situation wherein a Doctor did not know what to do even though he should have. While P.U.O. is an unknown entity (in relative terms) the fact that so many Doctor's seem to be shying away from their responsibilities when it comes to emergency situations is a trend we need to nip in the bud.
Someone's mother is suffering from Ulcerative Colitis ( a part of inflammatory bowel disease) in which there is tremendous suffering caused by numerous ulcers in the intestines causing fair amounts of bleeding and subsequent anemia. This mother was diagnosed with it and was under the treatment of some doctor at H.H. Unfortunately for her, she lived in a distant suburb (even further than the regular suburbs) approx. 2 hours away from H.H.
When she became seriously ill, she was taken to a small nursing home for her complaints of severe anemia and bleeding last night. The doctor there told her to go back to H.H. and get admitted immediately as the situation was critical. I respect that opinion, as sometimes these emergencies cannot be handled in smaller hospitals.However, as luck would have it, there were no beds in H.H. free and numerous calls around the city couldn't arrange for one in that particular hospital. In this case, the doctor should have made alternative arrangements for admission at a bigger hospital elsewhere, more importantly close by and not 2 hours away.
The advice given was wrong to begin with, because if it was an emergency, how was the patient supposed to travel 2 hours in Mumbai traffic to reach a hospital. The daughter who works with my wife called me up for help. All I could think of at that time was to get her admitted to any reputed Intensive Care Unit around her area at that time and control the situation following which we could wait for a bed at H.H. where she was originally being treated and her history was known.
The shocker came when she told me that the doctor who had advised her to go to H.H. was himself attached to the wok hospital branch in her area, but he said she couldn't get admitted there as there was no gastroeneterologist at that hospital.
The reason this is shocking is this, (all gastroenterologists reading this may comment here) - What exactly is a G.E. doc gonna do in an emergency when all she needed was supportive care and monitoring of her anemia and extreme weakness. She could have been stabilised and then a call could have been taken as to where to shift her.
That is exactly what I advised her daughter to do and fortunately she was educated enough to grasp the situation and handle it well (unlike the doctor).Point being made - Think logically and patiently, don't just get the patient out of your way because you think her situation is bad. Help, compassion, understanding and most important support to relative is what makes a doctor, not a diagnosis of emergency and referral to a higher centre.
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