It was Sunday, my elder daughter had booked tickets for a late night 10 PM movie. Around 8 PM, we planned to have dinner and later leave for the movie. Suddenly my mobile beeped with WhatsApp message. I opened the WhatsApp message, my kids peeping into my mobile, became upset. My wife being the doctor could understand my position. She knows I am a cardiologist, patients can come at any time and most of them are emergencies. Glimpsing the situation, my younger 7-year-old daughter, asked her mum, Is Dad not coming to the movie? My wife said, he will come. But, my little daughter flatly declined, and said: “you are lying”.
I said to my elder son studying 12th standard. You all go to the movie. I will directly come to the cinema hall. My wife said, OK, but my son kept staring at me.
I said Hello. From another side of the phone, kindly see ECG sent by WhatsApp, sir.
I said. I have seen. It is Heart attack (STEMI). That Patient needs emergent angioplasty (primary). Call patient relatives, over Phone.
Sir, only patients daughter has come along.
What is the age of patient? I asked.
From another side of Phone. That Patient is 65-year-old female sir.
Ok, give the phone to patient daughter. I said.
Hello, sir. Said, the patient daughter.
Your mother has suffered a major heart attack. She needs emergent angioplasty. I said.
I have two elder brothers. I have to ask them, sir. She said.
Your mother condition demands emergent angioplasty, any undue delay may harm the patient. I said to patient daughter.
OK sir, if that is the case please carry on. She said.
The patient will be shifted to hospital with a cath lab facility, which is 2 km from there, in the ambulance; I will directly come to that hospital. I said, to patient’s daughter.
Ok Sir, please come soon, my mother is crying with chest pain. She said.
The patient was shifted to hospital with the cath lab facility, meanwhile, I too reached there. I explained about procedure details even took written consent, from patient’s daughter.
Before doing angioplasty, doing angiography is a must. In fact, angioplasty is an extension of angiography. I did angiography of the patient. Her angiography revealed, a lesion needing urgent angioplasty. By the time I finished doing angiography patients younger son had arrived. I instructed nurse and technician to make ready the tray of angioplasty and came to the console of the cath lab. (Console of cath lab is room which is adjacent to cath lab separated by only one door) see figure
I called the son, along with him 5 to 6 his youth friends also came inside the cath lab console. I told them, the patient has a heart attack. I have done her angiography now. She needs to undergo emergent angioplasty as there is a block. Angioplasty procedure will cost around 1.5 lakh rupees. As I was explaining this, patient’s younger son, who was standing a bit far away, suddenly jumped, came very close to me. I smelled that, he was fully drunk. He started yelling at me, “you are lying”. I became alerted and kept quite. He ran inside cath lab, patient (his mother) was on cath lab table. There, from inside he further started making noise, “they have removed blood from my mother body, they will kill her”.
Hearing the loud noise, rest of his friends dashed inside cath lab, they started throwing instruments of the cath lab. Security personnel arrived at the scene. They tried to move the mob out of cath lab, but his friend’s gang was too tough for them to handle. They started beating one of the security personals.
I came into the cath lab, spoke to the patient. Ask your younger son to calm down. Please tell, we have not done any harm to you. She started crying loudly, shouting to his younger son she said, “I knew this, if I had told you (to younger son) in the first stance, you would create such a mess, to avoid it, I just came with my daughter”. Her younger son became very violent instead, he went out of cath lab, at corridor he caught hold of his sister started shouting at her, he made her cry too.
To make the situation worse, patients elder son who had just arrived, also came inside cath lab, he too was drunk. He took his mobile apple iphone, asked one of the younger brother’s friend to video record the happenings. He uses to purposely cut some dialogues in between and record what he thought would be helpful to him. But he did not know our entire hospital is under CC TV coverage.
Above mentioned drama went on for about 3 to 4 hours. In between, my mobile started ringing. Patient’s younger son did not allow me to answer the call. They were afraid of me calling the police, but it was always possible for me to do so, with a small signal to security standing next to me. I just avoided doing so. Actually, my wife had called me, they had finished seeing the movie, were returning home. I was bit worried as they could be returning home at midnight 1.00AM.
At around 3.00 AM, few members of the mob had left. Both brothers blood level of alcohol also had come down. All of us were sitting in my consultation chamber, which is few steps away from cath lab. Patient’s elder son, seeing his mother, with ongoing chest pain asked me, “do you still say the patient has the heart attack?” I asked him to video record with his mobile iphone. I took pen and paper. I started writing, he was bit astonished. I finished writing, read it aloud to all sitting in front of me. Your mother (name of the patient) has a heart attack, her angiography showed a block, treatment for this is primary angioplasty and this is an emergency. I signed the paper and gave it to the elder son. While I was reading loud, patient’s daughter also was standing inside my chamber. She started crying and scolded both brothers for creating the scene.
Elder son asked me to do angioplasty now, but younger son whose ego was hurt, threatened me, I will kill you in case after angioplasty any complication happens. I flatly refused to do angioplasty, as it was late. Patient heart muscle would have got damaged by this time, the benefit of angioplasty in this such situation was less compared to before. I advised them to go to a different hospital, for better of the patient. But patient’s younger son who was very adamant took the patient to home. Do not know what happened to the patient later.
Before leaving patient’s daughter came to me and asked sorry. Just because you told the cost of angioplasty around 1.5 lakhs, to avoid the expense, her brothers did all this drama, kindly forgive us. She also requested me, not to inform the police, as she had noticed CC TV cameras.
By the time I reached home it was 6.30 AM in the morning. My wife opened the door. I could see her eyes red; even she had not slept the whole night. She said she was continuously in touch over the phone with hospital causality, about happenings inside cath lab.
I said, your soldier is back home darling. I could see her smiling; she fell in my arms, gently hitting my chest. slowly, I could feel my shirt getting wet by her tears. I told her not to cry. She replied, do not take night emergency calls. I held her face with both hands, kept looking at deep in her eyes. She said I know, you love that Judkins more than me.
Oh! these girls are always jealous, they can’t withstand anything closer to their husbands. Computation for their priority is ever ongoing. No matter what. I started laughing. My wife got more annoyed. I told, come on darling, don’t get angry, that Judkins stands no computation with you. You are my heart and soul. How can you compare yourself with that nonliving catheter used for doing angiography?
But, I still felt bad, I could have still done angioplasty although it was late for that patient, whatever little benefit she would have got, was worth it.