MemberOctober 4, 2021 at 12:15 AM
Well, this question reminds me of an event that I could never rub out from my memory. My friends and I had planned a trip on a weekend to a famous temple which lies in the southern part of India, and we scheduled our drive after work which was around 12am, although it was late all of us were excited about the tour, while our medical director had asked 3 of my friends to extend their shift and work since there was an accident nearby and were short of staff to cover. So, we all canceled and postponed the trip for another week and volunteered in the hospital.
As it is recited, calm before the storm, one minute the emergency unit was calm, and then the next minute it was chaos. since I was a first-year general medicine postgraduate student, I was assigned with a patient in his mid-30s who was admitted with 60 percentage of burns from the accident, until then I was never exposed to the burn management unit, however, I knew the treatment plan theoretically for certain degree injuries. I instantly started to treat the patient with first aid care and paged both the primary general medic and the plastic surgeon for a review. The patient was unconscious when arrived and was allergic to multiple analgesics, it was perilous to put him on any pain killers, and I was guided by the senior medic to apply local anesthesia which I did and after 30 minutes the patient was stabilized with electrolytes and end of the day he was back to consciousness with terrible pain, he roared with loud noise and started wailing, it was thundering in the emergency room with all his sound.
He was shifted to a cubicle to keep an eye on, the stress from this and his past anomalies triggered a cardiac arrest, and his pulse was dropping extremely, being his consultant, I was held responsible to start Cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the crew from the cardiac perfusion unit has arrived within a few minutes, as a result from the weight I put on his chest, the man’s ribs starting cracking and I started feeling dubious but continued to resuscitate, the whole team got worked up after 27 minutes and that’s when a heartbeat was seen and he held my hand quickly which startled me (it was like displayed in the movies). He was equipped and transferred to the Burn – Intensive Care Unit very soon. I was drained and horrified, it took me a few hours to pull myself together and come out of the trauma. From there the patient was taken care of by the doctors in the ICU, and I only made a few visits to check the infusions and the healing of burns, he always welcomed us enthusiastically with a witty personality. After being treated for few months, he recovered with sequelae and was approved for discharge, he seemed grateful and conveyed his gratitude by throwing a small tea party for saving his life and advised me to live life without regrets and spend time for oneself which he failed to do.
I learned 2 lessons from it, I understood even though I panicked, I acted spontaneously which made me feel proud for being a compassionate doctor and the second lesson was to live life and not just survive, since I watched a man at death’s door, it hit me hard. To be honest, I was pretty devastated for having a petrifying adventure as well as happy for delaying our trip, since we all had a new experience that day, which laid a solid foundation for our career and to treat our patients with empathy. It was indeed a rollercoaster ride but later appreciated as it was one of the most valuable experiences I had in my life and I’m sure that I will remember this even in my last days.