Doctors Post-theatre Distress by Dr. Marilynn Omondi

I walked out of the theatre doors and did not talk to the relatives, I never looked back because they would see the tears well in my eyes n just how could I explain that their sister, his wife was no more? She left behind twins, her first pregnancy after struggling to conceive for ten years! She came in labour but the first twin was presenting with the feet first, we took her in for a Caesarean section, she was excited that finally her time had come to enjoy motherhood.

There was no set for spinal anaesthesia so the capable anaesthetist put her under general anaesthesia. As I worked I kept on noticing her blood was losing it's red rich colour but the anaesthetist assured me all was well, but as I kept on working it got darker n darker but he assured me that all was well.I finished my job n loved the beautiful scar I had left behind n the sound of the crying babies was music to my ears, they would bring great joy to my patient.when time for reversal came....she just would not wake up.......I saw the anaesthetist panic then he got a horrific look in his eye, the oxygen tank had ran out and did not sound the alarm! She had been on halothane and nitrogen only!I had been working on a corpse all through!

I stood in shock unable t accept what he was trying to tell me,I looked at my beautiful scar and tears rolled from my eyes, I heard the babies cry and my heart broke, what was I supposed to tell the family that I had presided over her death? I took of my theatre gown n left in silence the nurse tried to talk to me but I had nothing to say, I had just lost a patient on the table.......her efforts to conceive resulted in death, she never got to see her children.

I took one for the team that day. I became the families punching bag. They had no one else to blame after all I was the face of healthcare undeserved by the government. I contemplated leaving this profession altogether, i had thought it would be life like that on Chicago hope or ER but alas!I refused to operate for a week but then it struck me that one day change would come...n i could be a real life Miranda Bailey.i reported to work after a week, the anaesthetist remarked "u seem to be doing Ok now.relax these things happen after all, people die all the time and those people cannot sue you no one sues the government "

I didn't reply because that determined look I had was that of hope, a hope that never again should my patient die and that day is here.


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1 comment
  • Trish Muriithi
    Trish Muriithi Maternal deaths are unacceptable. Totally unacceptable especially when prevention failed from the caregiver's end due to lack of or poorly functioning facilities.
    October 4, 2012