(This is an excerpt from my new book, “Heart, Guts & Steel: The Making of an Indian Surgeon“)
My patient was going to die.
And if he did, it would be my mistake.
The thought was like a drumbeat, pounding inside my skull. Although still a trainee, I was the surgeon in charge of this operation. And I was in deep trouble!
“Give me a vascular clamp, quick!”
My voice shook and my fingers trembled slightly as I clutched the instrument, my movements hesitant, fearful. With my index finger as a guide, I slipped in one limb of the clamp, eased it into position, and clicked it shut.
Instantly, the bleeding stopped.
Thank God! I breathed a sigh of relief.
“Blood pressure’s holding,” said Ramesh, the anaesthesiologist, from the head of the table. “You gave us quite a shock there!”
I smiled weakly. My knees wobbled. Cold beads of sweat trickled down my back. It had been a close call.
My fifty year-old patient was lucky. He was rushed to hospital late last night after being stabbed in a bar fight. At first glance, it appeared as if the wound was superficial. But the moment I asked Rahim to stick out his tongue, I knew something was seriously wrong.
He was pale as a sheet!
Quickly calling my team for backup, I prepared for emergency surgery. “Arrange for four units of blood. He’s lost a lot.”
(This is an excerpt from my new book, “Heart, Guts & Steel: The Making of an Indian Surgeon“. Hone your reading strategies and get started.)