This posting is with due respect to the Malaysian medical fraternity. I know most of them are hardworking and honest in their duties. I really give them the Official EPI Tabik Spring for jobs well done and the unworldly hours they have to endure daily in discharging their solemn duties. I can’t even begin to fantasize holding a job with such heretic schedules and pressure.
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TABIK! : A Salute to the Medical Fraternity
Nonetheless, there are black sheeps in every community that spoil the broth so to speak. Personally, I have the HosNeeDoc (Hospital / Needle / Doctor) phobia and shun any thoughts of going near places that these 3 things customarily linger! No thank you! Hopefully I continue to be healthy enough to avoid them altogether for the rest of my life.
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MOST MISLEADING STATEMENT : This Will Not Hurt A Bit (For Me lah!)
My friend Raja suffered some sort of ailment a few months back that left him with a tingling cum numbing sense all over his body. Trips to the hospital (aiyoh!) didn’t reveal much even after a battery of test done on him (another aiyoh!). Using MRI, they did see some clotting in his lower parts of his brain near the spinal cord (pardon the laymen description of the case). But they assumed it was not the cause (since they didn’t know what caused the clotting in the first place!) which I think is absurd in the truest sense.
Logically, if you see something that isn’t supposed to be there, then red flags and the AWOOGAH sound should be sounded immediately. But I guess it is easier to deal with stuff that you understand rather than solving a mystery. Puzzled with what is causing Raja’s ailment (hello sirs, maybe the clotting has something to do with it!), the doctors where he sought consultation finally suggested a spinal fluid extraction or sorts in which a huge needle will be inserted in his spine to ‘sip’ some stuff there for analysis of any infection.
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PUZZLED : Now Why Was the Patient Here Again?
According to friends who are familiar with the procedure, this is the last resort used when normal tests don’t provide any clue to the disease in question. Apart from being painful, the patient will also suffer some side effects soon after the procedure for a period much too long for most of us. Actually, what the doctors would want to look at is whether the fluid is clear or cloudy. If it was the latter, then an infection can be safely assumed whereas the former means it is back to the drawing board for the doctors.
Watching Dr. House MD, getting a second opinion AND resorting to some out-of-the-box methods in place of the normal procedures / regime usually yield better results in cases where huge question marks are hovering over your doctors’ heads. Raja’s mom decided to get a second opinion and tada… it was just ‘post-viral’ i.e. Raja was infected with some kind of viral infection that has since been fought off by his bodily defenses. Whew! He was prescribed with some medications and had to undergo some physio-therapy for a month.
I’m glad to report not only he didn’t have to endure unnecessary pain from the spinal fluid sipping but he has since recovered fully. Indeed, the doctors in the first instance most probably were doing their jobs and all. Yet I humbly think, we as laypersons shouldn’t be subjected to the most convenient diagnostic methods even if it seems to be some text book case. What more if the procedure is invasive and risky. Easier said than done but I think most importantly, let’s spend a few extra hard earned ringgit and go get a second opinion please! It’s well worth it. Only I wished the couple in the following news article did the same! Sad truly sad!
News courtesy of the Malay Mail Online
Baby left with one testicle
Father plans to sue private hospital for negligence
EE ANN NEE
Thursday, October 15th, 2009 06:40:00
A DISTRAUGHT father is crying foul over a private medical centre’s alleged negligence that led to his son having only one testicle. The 35-year-old military officer, who wished to be known only as Hasmi, claimed that his baby boy has to suffer for the rest of his life because of the doctor’s arrogance and ignorance. Hasmi said initially he was elated and overwhelmed with the arrival of his twin boys on Aug 27. “They were born under normal conditions and were healthy,” he said.
A month later, when one of the babies fell ill, Hasmi’s wife brought him to a private medical centre in Wangsa Maju. Hasmi’s wife, who noticed the baby’s scrotum was swollen, asked the doctor about the enlarged testicle. Hasmi said the doctor recommended that the baby be warded for one or two days at the medical centre. “He drew a diagram of the swollen private part and told us that the problem would be cured in three months.
He said it was normal. He told us that he had more than ten years of medical experience and asked us not to worry. “Our baby kept on crying and crying. His condition never seemed to improve and worsened by the day. His testicle became redder and bigger due to the swelling,” Hasmi said. After three days, the couple decided to transfer their child to Selayang Hospital. The doctor at the government hospital told them it was too late as the baby’s testicle had to be removed to save his life.
Hasmi told Malay Mail that as parents, he and his wife did the best they could for their child. “The so-called ‘specialist’ kept on repeating that the problem would go away in three months. If we were to wait that long, our baby could have died. “It is absurd that the medical centre didn’t even offer any explanation. It is just unfair,” he added. Hasmi’s counsel, lawyer Muhammad Rafique said his client is waiting for the baby to be discharged from the hospital and to obtain a full medical report before filing a suit. Hasmi said he had lodged a report at the Wangsa Maju police station and Sentul police chief ACP Zakaria Pagan confirmed the report. Zakaria said investigations are ongoing.
The private medical centre, when contacted, said they had no comment, adding that they would only answer to health authorities when a complaint against them had been lodged.