Another patient just died, but who’s responsible? – Keeks
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Another patient just died, but who’s responsible?

Keeks / Blog  / Another patient just died, but who’s responsible?
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Another patient just died, but who’s responsible?

When I was doing my internship at a hospital (I don’t want to name it), we used to go on ward rounds. We’ll walk observingly at the back while the doctors were in the front, we were only asked questions for educational reasons, besides that we were just like shadows. We had a patient, let’s call her Helen. Helen was a mother with three kids under 12years. She had been admitted because she had a stroke. What her lifestyle was before the stroke, I don’t really know. We engaged with her during the ward rounds and then we left. Two days after that I went on ward rounds again. On arriving, we were told that Helen was basically dead. I say basically dead because, she was physically present, but her brain was gone. I was shocked, what had happened, I asked everyone. Then my colleagues who had their rotation the day before went on to tell me a very appalling story.

You see Helen had a stroke, and there are two types of stroke: ischemic stroke (caused by a blockage to a vessel) and haemorrhagic stroke (caused by a rupture to a vessel), both their treatments are very different. The type of stroke she had was misdiagnosed and thought to the other. She had haemorrhagic stroke and we thought she had ischemic stroke. So, she was given anti platelets and anti-coagulants. The drugs are designed to break down blood cloths, very useful for ischemic stroke, very terrible for haemorrhagic stroke. Eventually the bleeding in her brain got worse and damages occurred.

So there we were with another dead patient. All I could think about were her family and how they were going to cope. Some of the nurses were crying. She’d died because of something that could have been prevented on so many levels. She could have lived better to avoid ever having a stroke (exercise, eat right, go for routine checks), and the medical personnel could have been more thorough in their work. But regardless of how we choose to share the blame, the woman was gone.

What do you think, Who is responsible here?

Kiki Oti

Wellness advocate and health counsellor for Keek's

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