Saturday, October 03, 2009

left behind

there must be many times when we become obssessively compulsive. like before we leave for a vacation. is the handphone charger packed? did we bring passports? are the gas stoves switched off? is everyone accounted for, ala Home Alone? all for good reasons, too. we want a really nice, smooth & trouble-free holiday.

surgeons have to be meticulous in this respect. it is well known in medical circles that all kinds of instruments have been left in patients after surgery (read here and here)

causing the doctors & hospitals to foot huge compensation payments & suffer poor reputation.

sometimes even the most minor things gets missed. like today, i was seeing this patient just as she was preparing to go home. she showed me this that was still attached to her chest...... ECG electrode to monitor the heart. there are usually 3 of them, so she promptly showed me the other two. apologetically, i removed them there & then, & reassured her that she could safely go home.

yes, we all in the hospital ought to be more cafeful in the things we do (& say). today, ECG electrodes, tomorrow it could be something less visible & life-threatening.

i can tell you no doctor will relish a day in court.


reanaclaire said...

Doc, are u a real doc? actually i been wanting to ask u but never did so till now..
the scissor's xray, it really happened? oh gosh.. that was real scary!

wenn said... to be real careful..

doc said...


1st, i have to refer you to the description of my blog title.

the scissors in the xray was taken from a news report. what i know personally are incidents of pieces of gauze left in patients after surgery.

doc said...


yes, very careful.

msforty5 said...

Years ago, an ex colleague wife died due to internal infection post delivery when gauze or pads were accidentaly left inside her for sometime, when it was discovered it was too late. Sad tragic ending but Malaysians are very forgiving lot, but today people are more educated.

doc said...


the public generally is more aware of their rights & the avenues available to seek redress for their grouses.

the medical insurance that all private doctors pay annually have accordingly increased, reflecting the litigatious society we have evolved into.

suituapui said...

Awareness in these parts is generally low...unlike in the developed countries, where they sue the doctors and hospitals (and everybody else for that matter) left right and centre. Here, they can even get away with murder...

doc said...


that day is upon us already & i can tell you a lot of doctors are practicing "defensive medicine", which sounds very much like a football tactic. basically, it's to prevent the opponent from scoring.

what's missing at the moment is a referee who is fair.

Bengbeng said...

as a patient we also have an obligation to be keep ourselves updated with the necessary pertinent info. i find that doctors talk to us differently when we show interest in what they are doing and ask all the right questions. Doctors are human after all. Talking of statistics, there r bound to be errors made and we can but pray that our loved ones are not part of the stats.

doc said...


thanks for mentioning that doctors are human.

we are. we hurt & we bleed as well.