On 21st Feb 2017 night I was on night duty. At night around 1am I got a call from casualty that a patient has collapsed.
I ran to reach as soon as possible.
25 year old female with a known history of ASTHMA SINCE 12 YEARS
And HYPOTHYROIDISM since 2 years and stopped medications on her own since 6 months
Patient severely dyspneic and Oxygen was not reaching her lungs. Bilateral no air entry Saturation was falling and she was completely unresponsive.
Husband was standing besides.
We asked his consent regarding mechanical ventilation need and he gave a strange look but agreed(he said ohhh i knew you would ask for ventilator consent). I sent them out for intubation procedure and to fill up forms as there was not more than 30 secs left for me to decide what to do next.
With dyspnea for so long and exhaustion, during process of intubation of trachea and lungs she developed a cardiac arrest. With a exhausting 30 mins of cardio pulmonary resuscitation we revived the patient.
Her Blood pressure was falling and we started on Inotropes to keep her alive.
Till then he had not signed the consent form but i had taken a chance having trust on him that he wont backtrack.
Now after intubation he came with tears in eyes and said whats need for signature doctor. She’s dead and please declare. I am ready for any worst consequence.
I tried reasoning with him, please see the monitor her heart is working now. Please feel her pulse its bounding now. He was not satisfied and kept on saying shes no more and said all hospitals and doctors do this for money.
I was completely heartbroken. All your exhausting efforts were shown the garbage bin in a single sentence.
Truly speaking even with such negativity I had little hope she would make it to the morning to prove that not all doctors are businessmen. I didn’t have the conviction to forcefully tell him that she will make it just don’t insist on removing the ventilator, afterall shes a young lady of 25 years, her heart can take a arrest in stride and still move on. She doesnt deserve to die because you her husband dont trust me the doctor.
Anyways just gave all medicines myself and with my Medicine specialist colleague at that moment and just prayed to God. Yes we doctors pray for our patient. No doctor wants his patient to die.
At 4 am she showed a sign of struggle. Somehow she removed her endo tracheal tube. Again an emergency for me to re intubate. Again the need for explaining to someone who shows no sign of trust.
Anyhow re-intubated her. And dunno when i dozed off at around 5:30am. Got up at 6:15am and saw she was showing signs of recovery. Went home and i took a quick bath and visited her again at 8:20am. She was wide awake asking me for water but she was intubated. She was comfortable.
I cried inside but with a joy within. Just looked at the husband and said politely
“SHE WAS NOT DEAD YESTERDAY, SHE’S NOT DEAD NOW”