We have been reading occasionally of substandard medical cure provided by some medical practitioners/Institutions. In this context, I thought l should bring to the fore a supreme sacrifice by a colleague of mine, maintaining medical ethics of the highest standards.
Two weeks back, I was requested to come to Spandan Heart lnstitute , Nagpur, to operate a critically ill patient Mr. Agnihotri from Madhya Pradesh, who needed a bypass surgery. The patient had critical triple vessel disease with unstable angina. He was a known diabetic. As I was seeing his angiography film, my anaesthetist at Nagpur, Dr.A. Joshi said his father was not well and perhaps was going to be hospitalized that very day, in the same hospital.
As luck would have it, the patient needing bypass surgery developed a massive heart attack and collapsed even before the surgery could start. We had to rush with all resuscitation and chest was opened with cardiac massage. He was put on heart lung machine but even on full cardiopulmonary bypass, he continued to have persistent heart rhythm disturbances, in spite of repeated DC shocks and antiarrhythmic drugs. Patient's family was informed that chances of his survival were bleak.
I did four bypasses on the heart in this critical condition. As the four grafts were completed, his ECG settled and a good heart rhythm was obtained. To our utter surprise and joy, the patient came out of OT in a very good condition.
As I was writing the operation notes, the anaesthetist, Dr. Joshi, came out to me after changing his dress. I was surprised how he had changed his dress so soon. It was then that Dr. Joshi told me that his father had expired minutes back. I was shocked beyond words. Dr. Joshi told me that as our patient was being resuscitated on the second floor in the OT his father had reached the hospital's ICU on the ground floor.
On reaching the ICU, his father also collapsed suddenly and was put on a ventilator. Dr. Joshi was informed about this by the doctors in ICU but he did not want to leave the critically ill patient who had been rushed for bypass surgery and remained with the patient for full three hours.
As an honest doctor, he gave as good anaesthetic support as he could, while on the back of his mind was his father's grave condition. Through out the surgery he never informed me that his father was so sick and continued to do his duty in the OT. While the bypass surgery patient came out of the OT in a good haemodynamic condition, Dr. Joshi's own father died at about the same time, not giving him an opportunity to see him alive.
Last week, the bypass surgery patient was discharged from Spandan Heart Institute in a very good condition. As everyone was congratulating me on phone from Nagpur for an excellent surgery, I was wondering at the supreme sacrifice of my anaesthetist, Dr. Joshi.
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