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Wednesday, 24 January 2007

Where is the medical team?


"Where is the medical team?" Shouted the spectators in the far side of the Cheras Badminton Stadium. The officials pointed to the table where the medical team was seated. There were three doctors watching the match although only one was officially on duty. The rest of the medical team consisting of a nurse, a medical assistant, a physiotherapist, an ambulance driver and 2 students were seated just behind the doctors.

Two of my doctor colleagues immediately ran up the stairs to reach the patient. But since they were not dressed in their uniform as I was, nobody could recognise them. The crowd was not helpful. They blocked the access route to the stands just to catch a better glance at the women's doubles finals match between China and Indonesia. I didnt have much of a choice. Everyone was gesturing to me to attend to the patient although I was the last doctor standing for the competition. I had to leave my post to run after my other colleagues.

True to my suspicion. The patient was an epileptic male who was poorly controlled on medication . He just had a tonic-clonic convulsion on the stands possibly due to the hot, humid and extremely noisy environment with every spectator banging away on the sponsored plastic air-balloons. There was not much we could do but to ensure that the patient was comfortable and did not choke on his own tongue or secretions. He was slightly dazed when we got to him and it took three men to carry him up the stairs and down the stairway into the medical room. We were relieved to see that he was better. His mother was not perturbed by the incident and wanted to return to the game immediately. She was not sure what medication the son was on. Neither could she tell us more about the condition. To our surprise, she refused our offer to take the son to the nearest hospital by ambulance. I informed my colleague that we could not have the patient return to the spectator stand without risking another episode that we may not be able to manage. Finally, the patient's mother relented and took the boy home.

1 comment:

draston said...

The next time we cover an event like this we will have to ensure that the organisers have another medical team attending to the spectators. We were lucky that we did not have a person having a heart attack. We did not even have a defibrillator as the medical team thought it was not necessary. Let's hope the next time we will learn from this experience.