The other day when I got a distressed phone call from my sister I was horrified to know that my esteemed friend and a brother namely Bashir Ahmed Baqual former Executive Engineer PDD has been hospitalized as he had suffered a minor heart attack at his home at about 12.55 pm when he was out of washroom after ablution, but instead of reporting in mosque for Zuhr prayers fate had it that he was moved to hospital.
Unfortunate part is that I got a call during late hours in the evening of Sunday when almost it was virtually impossible to see him in the hospital in view of inclement weather conditions. Next morning, weather was also disturbing and it was heavily snowing but any how I decided to move to hospital on foot at 7.45 am. On reaching hospital I was not able to find him and after making couple of telephone calls I came to know that he had been shifted to emergency ward where patients with cardiac arrest are retained. Finding him there completely bed ridden with couple of attendants around I just placed my hand on his forehead as I was told that doctors have advised not to engage him in unnecessary gossip. I just wished him in low tone which he responded with his eyes generating positive signs of recovery with a faint gloom on his lips yet conveying immediate signs of his recovery and fast recuperation. There was no negative impulse on his face. I stayed with him for about 15 minutes and by the time doctors on duty started attending other fellow patients I left and let his son be with him. Outside, when I talked to his other attendants and enquired some details about his ailment I was shocked to know that he had suffered another mild heart attack in wee hours of morning but I could not feel any sign of further deterioration which can be because of lack of my knowledge or my immense love for him. I just left the place for office thinking that evening I will see him again at leisure but I could not make it to hospital up to 6 pm because of traffic jam en route which might have been triggered by heavy snowfall. The moment I reported back at home I was interrupted by yet another telephone call which prompted me to visit hospital once again along with my elder brother at about 7.15 pm. On reaching hospital we were informed that the patient is in operation theatre since 4.30 pm and is being operated upon as there was some problem immediately after angiography. Now the situation appeared to be complex and the level of complexity was growing higher and higher with every passing second. I can only remember that doctors were very frequently coming out of the theatre with the piece of paper in their hands and asking attendants to fetch this or that medicine and the process continued up to 11.30 pm when 4 pints of blood had been reportedly transfused. Every time when somebody was coming out of the theatre we would request them about the condition of patient and they kept on telling us that everything is normal. All the attendants including me were waiting outside for the patient to be out of theatre. I found all the attendants sitting outside with wearing an gloomy expression. At 11.35 pm doctors prompted us to get stretcher as the patient is to be shifted to Medical Intensive Care Unit. Yes patient was shifted only to breathe his last at about 12 O clock or so in the night. What we are not able to understand is:
If the patient had suffered two heart attacks within a period of 42 hours, was not it sufficient indication for the doctors to shift the patient to SKIMS in view of better care available there. What they were waiting for.
If the angiography of the patient was performed successfully then what lead to his collapse immediately after he was out from the theatre and why the doctors were so confused that they broke open the doors of theater and intensive care unit and took him back to theatre instantaneously for some procedure which lasted for 6.30 hours and only to leave the patient dead.
What was the logic behind asking the attendants to get medicines even upto 11.30 pm in the night. Is it not must that such drugs should be made available to the patient in view of their urgent requirement in emergency. Suppose there would not be any medical store available outside which is usually the case in winter, in that eventuality what would be the fate of patients?. Is it not mandatory on the part of management to keep all such drugs available and of course cost can be recovered from the patient at the end of day. Can it be even presumed that these medicines were available as they should be, yet the logic behind sending attendants to buy medicines frequently was to create an impression that patient is live but reverse could be equally true.
To our utter astonishment we saw a big board hanging in the passage leading to operation theatre and the board carried names of almost 30 to 40 drugs may be life saving ones but only few of them had tick mark against them which we do not know as to whether tick indicates their availability or otherwise.
When he was transferred to trolley from operation theatre a young man perhaps a doctor was carrying a balloon sort of thing in his hand pumping it vigorously perhaps creating an impression that patient is alive but believably worst had happened in the theatre as the blood was profusely oozing out from his groin which was beyond doubt due to damaged femoral artery which was perhaps not attended to in time thus leading to life-threatening massive bleeding. This was also evident from the clothes/uniform which the patient was wearing during operation as they were completely drenched with the blood.
Doctors kept on saying that we have done out best and rest is in the hands of God. Indeed very true, but have the doctors done their best we are yet to believe it. One more soul is lost, yet doctors have done their best. This is the case of operation being successful but the patient died. No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven do not want to die to get there and yet death is the destination we all share and no one has escaped it and that is as it should be because death is most likely the single invention of life. I do not blame or belittle anyone but there is always scope for improvement particularly when we are discharging our professional responsibility.
May God bless us all and bestow the family with enough patience to bear this irreparable loss.