Wishing Our Nurses All Over The World Happy International Nurses Day!

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Pinterest

On this episode of Doctor-Patient Palaver, here is what happened to me few weeks back. Enjoy reading…

One minute she stood straight, another minute she would perch back on her limbs, squatted, next minute she was standing again, this time with arms akimbo. This woman would not sit, no, she kept a frozen stare at me as I battled to breathe some breath of hope into her two year old daughter’s body. Her daughter was not yet dead but she was dying! For the past one and half hours I had struggled to stabilise this child, who had been on and off ‘red zone’. OK, I think I just said she wasn’t dead, but this was the 3rd time the poor girl would have to be rushed down from the children’s ward to intensive care room; this time, I had removed the feeding tube, I had suctioned all the alien secretions from God knows where, I had plunged back those nasal prongs to push some oxygen back into her lungs.

Along the line, I sensed the mother was fed up of fighting for her daughter, she was mumbling at every point of medical intervention but little did she know I wasn’t ready to stop fighting for her daughter’s life. Not long after, the child’s breathing was becoming gradually spontaneous, at least with the help of oxygen. So I did stretch my back a little, praying so hard in my heart not to lose a potential future minister of women affairs. Only if we knew how bright the future of every child is…

 

I soon noticed the child’s mother walk out of our not-too-ideal intensive care room, I really didn’t understand what was happening. A nurse went to her and spoke with her at length but this time she began to cry. She wanted to leave with her dying daughter at all means. I did understand how she felt, but what I didn’t understand was why she wanted to take the poor girl away from the hospital. There wasn’t any better medical service provider around, at least not less than 80km from our facility and those medical services weren’t going to be free like ours.
I pleaded with her not take the baby home, I told her to give the baby another chance to live just like she had done in last few days, but you know that moment when all you said only turned on deaf ears. To my greatest shock, she stood up and left the hospital without her child, wailing in her local language along the way. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I thought she was a cruel mother, OK may be not, I thought frustration was driving her nuts! She was later helped back into the hospital to sign the DAMA(Discharge Against Medical Advice ) form.
As she left with her child that day, I felt I had just been bereaved. I felt huge vacuum in me, like my body was about to defy gravity and start floating in space. The tears in my eyes became too thick and heavy to flow out. I didn’t know whether to run after her and collect the baby and put back the oxygen, but I knew only miracle could have prevented the child from dying that day at home.

I later asked someone that understood her language what she was saying when she first left without her child and I was told, she said, I should keep and eat her child if I so choose to. My heart unfroze!

 

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Pinterest

Kate Ibadin ( Facebook: kate Ibadin,  email: nursekateibadin34@gmail.com) is a nurse. She shares her experience with a patient that left against medical advice.

Hello, my name is Katie. Here is what happened to me with a patient that left against medical advice.
Sometime ago while on night shift, just as we were thinking that we were about to have a calm shift, a patient came in with symptoms of acute watery diarrhoea, temperature spike, general body weakness, malaise, and that was how the restless night began. Complaint here and there, I even got to hear that the 10% dextrose water bolus that was given IV was the cause of the diarrhoea. Wow, that was strange! After series of infusions, antibiotics and psychological support, the diarrhoea persisted and by the next morning, the parents had lost hope. They felt our treatment wasn’t working and we had no right to charge as much as we had charged them, so they decided they would leave against medical advice despite the fact that the child’s condition was really bad. All the counsels and persuasion for them to stay back were to no avail. By 7am the next morning, they had left with a very sick child.
They were back three days later, this time, all the symptoms had aggravated but the desire to save a life was more important to us than addressing the medico-legal aspect of DAMA, so we accepted the patient. Thank God the patient survived.

Thanks for reading today’s DPP series. Kindly share your view on relatives discharging their patients against medical advice. From my story, what would you have done if you were in my shoes?

 

Wishing Our Nurses All Over The World Happy International Nurses Day!

Featured image credit: New York Times

Join the Conversation

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from Ayodeji Erubu's Blog.

You have Successfully Subscribed!