Leader of the Team - 2

 Leader of the Team - 2

DR V.N. Shrikhande 

Mistakes Committed by Doctors

We had once done the removal of a lung for cancer. Everything went off well and we were having coffee in the surgeon's room, when the sister came running and virtually dragged us to the O.T. The drainage tube was pouring out blood. We opened the chest again and noticed that one ligature had slipped from a large vessel. The bleeding was so profuse and fast that the patient succumbed within a few minutes. This episode has left a deep imprint on my mind that one loose knot amongst the hundreds we had tied up was sufficient for causing the tragedy. Students of engineering are taught that the strength of an edifice lies in its weakest link. One wrong step taken by a mountaineer could send him hurting down into the deepest crevices. Every human activity contains in it an element of risk. The biggest ship built in the history of mankind, The Titanic met an icy grave on her maiden voyage in 1912. She had been considered unsinkable and shipbuilders were so sure about her safety and performance that not enough life jackets had been made available for every passenger. The worst-ever disaster in the annals of Indian film industry occurred in Mysore during the shooting of the TV serial; The Sword of Tipu Sultan.

Accidents can occur in a kitchen, bathroom, or while swimming or riding. Travel can be just as dangerous. Behind most accidents lies complacency. Very few get wise from someone else's experience and stupid people never learn from their own mistakes. There is human failure behind a majority of accidents and unless man improves, accidents would continue to take their toll. No wonder then that all operations are potentially dangerous and there are few operations without accompanying complications. When surgeons themselves undergo operations they are extremely nervous because they know how even simple operations can go wrong. No doctor can be a safe doctor unless he has developed an attitude of reverence for others' lives.

The ancient physician Charak had stated-

   No other gift is greater than the gift of life.

  The patient may doubt his relatives,

  His sons, and even his parents,

  But he has full faith in his physician.

  He gives himself up in the doctor's hands

  And has no misgivings about him.

 Therefore, it is the physician's duty

  To look after him, as his own son.

 Compilation of professional reminiscences of specialists - edited by M.V.Kamath and Dr.Rekha Karmarkar