Friday, December 14, 2012


    We as physicians are often blamed for being late , and many a time rightly so . It is amazing that we can do things that well without in trouble. Sometimes I go to see patient and he is in CT scan . Then he or she may be in endoscopy or surgery and then we have to come back sometimes in few hours. One time I was consulted for a patient who after open heart surgery to replace a valve and he had 'air embolism ' . He was still on respirator . As such I was not going to do much except to make sure that the oxygenation was adequate . But when I went to see patient, he was in a hyperbaric chamber . The treatment for the air embolism was to give oxygen under high pressure . This would help to absorb the air that went in the blood .This was to be given for 12 hours or so .There was no way that I could wait in the hospital till he came out of hyperbaric chamber. So sometimes it is impossible to be always in time .
    But this is a different story , where I was not that late .
    It was Wednesday . I have morning hours . I  see patients between  8 am to 12 noon . But it never ends at 12 noon I end up with double bookings and then by the time I am done it is 1 pm or so . So I like to move . As much as patients hate the doctors being late , I hate patients being late . If patient shows up late then I have a difficult time adjusting to the schedule . On that day I was doing fine . I was in time , there was not much double booking and so I was only 15-20 mins late . Then it happened . The lights went off . The power was gone and so the computers were gone and the phones were dead . How dependent we are on these modern things . We did have our printed schedule ,so we knew the list of the patients . One of my long time patient was my next patient . She was never 'no show ' . I was surprised when she did not show up . But I was too busy , to think about it . We had opened blinds ,and were using cell phones. She showed up about one hour late . We still did not have the power . She was put in the room . My secretary told me that she had an accident and she was shaken . I went in the room . She looked OK . I asked her what had happened . She told me the story . About a block from my office she lost the control of her car and hit a electricity pole . Then the police came in , the report was made and so she was late . Fortunately  she  was not hurt.The pole that she hit was the cause of we loosing the power !

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