I was on call in the operating theater (OT) last night.
It was quite an eventful night. Very taxing, both physically and emotionally.
Then, there was this case which was put up at about 4am in the morning.
There was this 4 year old boy, let’s call him XY, 13 kg, with total amputation of the left middle finger and amputation of the tip of the 4th finger with open fracture of the middle phalanx. Are they going to resuture the finger? – I asked Khalidah. She was not sure either.
The child arrived at the OT. Small and fretful. I could not imagine how mischievous he might have been, to be involved in such accident. He held on to his mother.
Further history from the mother, XY was playing alone when his hand, in her very own words, ‘tersepit kat pintu’. How did it happened?? I blurred, she replied ‘tak tahu lah’. DENIAL. I quickly ran through some short medical and surgical history and examined the child, then pushed him to OR6. (Operating Room 6).
The child was put under general anesthesia and the orthopedic team planned for a refashioning on his fingers, which means, no they were not going to reattach his fingers. This was obvious right from the start – we did not have a hand surgeon in hospital Melaka.
I went through the case notes later, only to discover the hidden agenda. The child was the youngest out of 4 sibling. He was playing alone at home, at the door, when the accident happened. His parents brought him to the hospital only FOUR hours later. The ortho team initially planned to refer and transfer them to Hospital Serdang for reattachment, however, the parents refused for referral because of ‘domestic issues’.
I mean it is difficult to salvage a finger which had been amputated for 4 hours, but if you were the mother, and you know that your kid still have a chance to reattached the amputated limb, wouldn’t you go all out??? And they say mother’s love is the greatest love of all… I cannot be too sure. His father wasn’t around for opinions either. Just because you think you can have as many babies as you like, it does not mean you get to neglect them.
BABIES DO NOT GROW ON TREES.
PLEASE LOVE YOUR CHILDREN.
It pains my heart so very much when seeing incidents like that. What if the child grew up and wanted to be a surgeon? What if he wanted to be a pianist? Of course, there is prosthesis and all, but why not give him a chance? It is such a sad story….
To add salt to the wound, rub it in, there was another unfortunate case last night, following that case. 10 year old girl, let’s call her XX, came with amputated right ring finger, case put up by orthopeadic team for refashioning of finger. From the history, it was an accident, the child was riding on a bicycle when her finger caught between the wheel and amputated. I feel sorry for the girl. She would never wear her wedding ring perfectly again. It is so sad.
I think I will not like my next houseman posting – orthopeadics. It is a ‘BRUTAL’ department, I think, with lots of amputations which I could not bear to see. Amputation of finger, or fingers, toes, limbs, BKA, AKA, etc…. I wonder how would I ever survive the OT then.
My GA MO, Soon, newly wed last month, apparently, he shared similar opinions, he said disappointedly, ‘I really cannot understand these parents, how could they leave their kids like this’.
I replied, ‘Soon, when you have kids, please take good care of them’
i think parent-ship can be one of the biggest challenges...
sometimes, i wonder how my parents did it...
they must have been like SUPER MOM and SUPER DAD...
how i missed you...
will be home soon...
(p/s: names and demographic data had been modified to preserve confidentiality)