Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Patients’ relatives—a kaleidoscope of emotions
As an intern posted in CCW where critical patients r kept, I got an opportunity to witness the variety of emotions expressed by the relatives of these critical patients. Different personalities have different ways of handling tension ,grief or unexpected happenings in their own lives& in lives of their loved ones. I began to respect ordinary people who stayed calm(illiterate,rural background,very poor) more than people hailing from well to do families who just throw their weight about. These poor villagers though unable to afford expensive medicines are very compliant with the doctors instructions. They don't hover upon doctors asking unnecessary questions,they just sit calmly& pray for the patient.They infuse a warmth in their patient with constant care&  unfailing devotion.{unless the village headman doesn’t turn up with his goons to beat the hell out of the intern on duty}patients of such compliant, calm relatives may die for want of blood or some expensive drug or some incurable factor but wont die for lack of care by relatives & their hopelessness.On the other hand when a VIP patient enters the ward it marks the inception of a nightmarish experience for doctors,staff,other patients admitted in tht ward& the VIP patient himself. The relatives of such patients will call all sorts of VIP doctors, police connections, ministers-who wil hover upon the doctors asking meaningless questions& blame the residents, nurses,interns etc for everything under the sun—just ask the relative to feed the patient properly---he ll make a face….ask them to donate blood—they ll ask how much does a bottle of blood cost? will it save him100% ? —I asked him—how much does your fathers life cost?is not it worth trying to save even if chances are bleak?.......none of them will sit near the patient,hold her /his hand calmly& pray for his wellbeing…they just wanna show-off how powerful they are…
If you ask them to shift the patient a little,so that propped position can be maintained—they ll say—its d nurses job not mine!...they ll ask -should we take him to escorts? The greatest cardiologist of escorts is our fathers friend. Tell me fast if I ve to  go to delhi --I ll lose an important business deal—be quick in monitoring his BP& tell me do we need to take him 100%?—so tht I can cancel my meeting with an important client…how caring!!!!! Mobiles will ring aloud disturbing all other critical patients as their powerful pals wil call to HELP…they'll flaunt halfbaked medical knowledge& ask you illogical questions—a fool can ask a lot more questions than the wisest man can answer!!after a hectic night duty a doctor will prefer which patient? a calm& concerned relative or such VIP question banks?
On the adjacent bed ,the poor labourer sitting near his dying wife is earning merely 50 Rs a day& has to support a family of five but he is not so visibly worried about losing his money—he is just trying to stay calm& do his best for his wife—he allays his daughters fears who sobs quietly while massaging her mothers feet ,teaches his son how to help him better& care for the youngest child of the family—they had no connections to ministers,nor did they have bundles of money,but they had faith in themselves& they had hope……we could tell him frankly about the patient—he had the courage to face the inevitable too,neither was he recording every word of the doctors(waging a secret war with medicos& ready to file a case against every doctor like the VIP patients’ relatives )
Patients’ outcome—
-Its the attitude which also makes the difference ……….
The poor labourers wife survived an arrest & was discharged frm critical care ward…. After discharge, if she collapses again in her village it will be for want of doctors in the  village area, because of their poverty ,because of lack of knowledge —not for dearth of patience in patient or her relatives.
How did the VIP fare?They had more connections,power,money but had no patience& no hopes. …the VIP patient had an arrest--When residents attempted CPR they refused CPR& said please call some professor of medicine-Residents do practical work& are more in practise of such procedures in emergency…..the professor may have more knowledge& experience but he is not doing cpr daily. At times of arrest timing is crucial—every second counts…will you wait to hear the professor's hellotune& then give explanations or start cpr instantly?........a drama followed!!.in all this confusion,the patient was lost……… VIP relatives said--escorts is better! the son shouted—you killed my father! Resident shot back—you killed your own father!! Suddenly all commotion stopped&  A silence ensued


  1. must be quite an experience!! you must write more about each episode!somewhat like greys anatomy :)

  2. We call it "VIP Syndrome" , there is also another called "Medico Syndrome" . Both have some similarity but few major differences too :)

  3. thanx fr d comments Jd & Dr.Nishant

  4. I don't know what CCW and CPR are and how come you got to know only two extremes of the cases. It is obvious for the people, who have no power, no money and importantly no "education", to be afraid as they don't know what's happening with the patient exactly. In most of these cases (poor people), they come hospitals or medical camps when patient is serious and chances of being alive go down. But with so called "VIP" patient it's other way around. They don't care how expensive is the medicine or what's the ward's charge per day (even mostly all of them have medical insurance) so they want best care. I agree that those stupid VIP patients' relative not just cause problems in effective and faster treatments but disturb other patients too BUT they want better facilities when they see that same kinda facility is given to a poor patient.

    Though a lot of things to say but I will say last thing that you just missed a few points- "not poor-non VIP patients"--"Doctor's mistakes under pressure" etc.

    Well I enjoyed this one.. learned a lot from Ms. Witty Doctor.. Keep posting..

  5. CCW is critical care ward &CPR is cardio-pulmonary resuscitation..i shud ve mentioned this in the post..will edit it..

    thanx for ur response kushal..seems u read the whole story&came bang on some points.. since i wanted2convey the msg that faith& love are more important than any connections/medicines..i felt its better to write abt an incident which had 2 extremes.. there r many other incidents abt the topics u ve mentioned..will write abt them too..
    thanx for ur meaningful comments

  6. hey doc

    looks like we are gonna get a series from u!!! this is the second i presume ... or have i missed a few earlier ones.

    keep up the gr8 work. someone does need to give a voice to our concerns too..

    waiting for more...

  7. thanx dr.swapnil !! read the other posts also pls.. i am an indian doctors on this blog is also related to doctors..u might like them sir!! thanx fr reading my stuff!!