Tuesday, August 19, 2014

miracles still happen

I was witness to a miracle that unfolded in front of my eyes this morning. A tiny fighter (4 months old weighing just 4.5 kg) came in for VSD (hole in heart) repair. The way a dedicated team of clinicians went about performing an open heart procedure on this handful of a baby brought tears to my eyes. In earlier times he wouldn't have lasted beyond school, dying of heart failure/respiratory infections but now he will probably outlive me! Wah...yeah hui na baath?

Medical work is noble, spiritual, unique in that the skills mean difference between life and death...literally. To accomplish such feats a team of clinicians, technicians and healthcare miracle workers has to synchronize and work together with clockwork precision. Like a relay race the baton passes from one to another seamlessly, communication is subtle and in gestures mostly. A hand reaches out to have the correct instrument placed at the right angle with the right things included, which then goes on to become an extension of the surgeon's fingers to deftly weave his magic on the tiny heart.

When the sheets came off in the end for him to be transferred out of the OT, the tiny fighter caught my attention by his sheer smallness. As the team lifted him onto the transport incubator there were many tubes and lines, which I gladly extended a hand to lift.

 BTW-by the way this too happened in a corporate hospital.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

head injury wonder

a RTA patient was admitted to one of the teaching hospitals GCS - 4/15 with SAH, LOC. In the corporate world this patient might end up with a huge bill (running into several lakhs), teaching hospital environment is different. Here the the team endeavours to practise medicine in an ethical way per hippocratic oath. Indiginisation runs in our veins as we grew up tinkering with ambassador car/lambretta scooters where repair is default, replace a luxury. Even the manufacturer is astonished to learn how much juice we can extract from a fruit :)

Patient went through HPE, FAST, airway secured, line access opened and neurosurgeon requested to assist. SAH was successfully evacuated. An intensivist team took over from here and gradually brought the patient back to GCS 15/15 to go home walking. Psychiatrist consultation was sought early to keep mental equilibrium as swings in mood during acute trauma are expected. Today he has been returned to the community by this wonderful team of medics, who work out of passion to serve. A refreshing change from a world, where even breast milk is sold and uterus hired like a bank vault!

Medicine is service...full stop.