Tuesday, April 21, 2009
So, consequences of actions:
(Very brief and un-PC: Apologies)
Fat lady with everything wrong with her asks a surgeon that she wants a lipoma(fancy word for non-life-threatening abnormal lump of fat) removed from her arm.
Surgeon tries to convince her the surgery is unnecessary.
She wants it out anyway.
Usually this is done under local anaesthetic (ie, numbing just the skin where the incision is to be made and the lump removed.)
The anaesthetist asks the surgeon if she should have some light sedation- something like valium to make you relax.
Surgeon says yeh ok.
Fat lady has a violent reaction to this sedation and ends up vomiting so much that she perforates small vessels in her stomach.
Ends up bleeding so much her heart cannot get enough blood to supply itself so she ends up having a heart attack.
The part of the heart effected by the heart attack happens to be where the valve is, so ends up having open heart surgery to fix the valve.
Surgery took a long time, and with her poor health to begin with ended up with kidney damage.
Kidneys didn't recover, and she consequently needs life long haemodialysis. (Filtering the toxins and crap in her blood by machine to take the place of her poor functioning kidneys.) Haemodialysis takes about 4-5 hours a session and depending on how bad the kidneys are, people might need haemodialysis daily. (4-5 hours per day is a long time considering transport to and from the hosptial which is only open business hours for dialysis..)
For this to happen she needs vein access which is difficult because of her size!
Multiple attempts throughout the following months ensue.
So i saw her for removal and re-fitting of a new permanent vascular access site for dialysis, as the old one had got infected.
So, all of this happened because of a decision to cut out a harmless lump of fat.
The patient's fault?
The surgeon's fault?
The anaesthetist's fault?