04 September 2005

A Doctor's Patience

Here's an example of a doctor's patience reaching its limits. It concerns a story about a doctor and a patient in Shiga, Japan.
The elderly female patient at a hospital in Shiga, central Japan, was given a local anaesthetic for an unspecified operation early last month, but began thrashing around on the operating table and yelling at the doctor to stop.

After trying to persuade her to calm down, the doctor hit the patient on the forehead and yelled at her to shut up, a hospital spokesman said. The patient needed five days to recover from the injury to her forehead.

[ Reuters ]

That "thrashing-around" is a reaction experienced by some patients injected with a local anaesthetic. They hallucinate and sometimes do things they aren't aware of. The doctor should have known better.

9 reactions:

ruth said...

but "trashing around" + "yelling" sounds like a panic attack, doesn't it?

at any rate, there was something really wrong here. the person you trust to heal you does the opposite and does you even more damage. in cases like this, can the patient sue the doc for physical injuries???

Dr. Emer said...

Definitely, Ruth. Definitely. :)

bayi said...

Was that a young doctor? Even so, I still think he should have known better.

I have always thought that it does not just require brains and perseverance to be a doctor. One must also have compassion or else the slightest provocation from a patient, however unintended, can set a stressed doctor off on his own course of reactions which he may regret later, perhaps with irreversible damages.

But in this case, since a local anesthetic was administered, it must have been for a minor and local operation.

toni said...

Oh man, I hope that doctor gets his karma.

Dr. Emer said...

Bayi: The doctor really erred here. Young or not, that is no excuse for his rudeness and violence.

Toni: I'm sure he will. ;)

Svelte Rogue said...

i hate it doc. this happened to me when i was giving birth. that stupid ob gyne told me she was going to do a c-section and i was drugged at the time. i started thrashing around in panic and the orderlies rewarded me with lousy treatment while transferring me to those trolleys while the drug wore out. jerk-os. now i know i wasn't weird.

Dr. Emer said...

No, it isn't a weird reaction, Rogue. I've witnessed a lot of these "thrashing-around" reactions, especially among Filipinas giving birth. I think the combination of exteme pain (from childbirth) and the hallucinatory effects of the anesthetic is a bad mixture.

I hope there will be a study soon on specific anesthetics with low hallucinatory effects among Filipina pregnant women in labor.

thescrubsfamily said...

The doctor's privileges should have been taken away.
That was unacceptable! There are many medications that can cause adverse reactions...similar to "thrashing-around". She needed some sedative. Did he just forget? Hitting a patient is not a good alternative.

Dr. Emer said...

You said it, Kuiipo. He really ought to be taught a lesson for what he did.