Fatal Attraction -3



 Sometimes destiny plays strange tricks on us. There was the instance of an affluent Parsi youth who was admitted for a scooter accident with a trivial injury to his lower leg. Almost simultaneously, a poor farmer from a distant village was also admitted with both legs and hands hacked. He had been brought to the hospital in a very serious condition after an inordinate delay of 24 hours. I had to make a quick decision on which of the two I should attend to first. The farmer seemed to be a gone case. The Parsi boy could be quickly treated which I proceeded to do. Then I gave equal if not more care to treat the farmer who had already lost his legs and arms. I was not sure whether the farmer would survive. But survive he did and returned to his village in due course. But the Parsi lad developed gas gangrene, a dreadful complication and died. What am I to say of that? That destiny rules our lives?

Then there is the case of the patient who was brought to the hospital with an amputed right upper limb caused by a railway accident. I had a Senior Resident who had interest in palmistry and who would often ‘read' palms of serious patients to find out whether they would survive or not! In this case he insisted that the police who brought the case should bring the severed limb as well, so that he could look at the palm. The examination over, he told me in all seriousness that the patient had no chance of survival and that I should not waste my time in trying to save him!

It would have been a bad case of negligence and I was not going to listen to such crass advice. I worked on the patient, giving him the fullest attention possible under the circumstances. I had the satisfaction of discharging the patient in good health, albeit minus one arm. I might add here that my senior accustomed to decide the fate of patients from a study of their palms ultimately landed in a mental asylum.