rAdIoLoGy NoTeS 16: The Worst That Could Happen... 4/03/2009 06:34:00 PM

This has been something only those working in our hospital had knowledge of last year, but not anymore. I can't seem to find a link to this story in English, but it did appear in today's SunStar Cebu after being reported in yesterday's Suberbalita as well as on FM radio. Sunstar Cebu's print version has the name of the doctors as well as the hospital... Incidentally, I share the same high school alma mater as the patient and one of the doctors charged. You may access the link in hardcore Cebuano here.

What the media has is just the start of the story of this poor woman though. After having her sigmoid colon nicked in the video-lap procedure to drain fluid from a fallopian tube. ad some complications, was brought to the CT-scan and found to have her ureter cut or nicked as well. She had another operation, then more complications, another CT-scan done showed her iliac artery was cut or nicked, so they opened her up again, a third time. She was really this close to death when I saw her at that time...

The last operation done was several months later when her ileostomy was closed. A few days prior, I had her as a patient for part of the work-up and it was only then I noted how pretty she was, now that she was in the pink of health and about to be made whole again. Her husband was with her the whole time, quite supportive.

Since several months had passed, nobody thought they would sue, until now.

In the course of medical treatment, you can never tell what could happen. A simple thing could have different risks, which you have to clearly explain to the patient. Sometimes, we could never know the extent of what could go wrong. Almost everything could go horribly wrong as in this case.

Observing things from the sidelines, I can only shake my head and silently pray such things don't ever happen to me or to any of the fellow doctors I know well, my classmates, friends, consultants.... But it already has, and it can always happen again.

In hindsight though, I guess none of these would have happened if they had decided to adopt a needy infant instead...