Recently a very close relative in our family passed away cause of multiple organ failure. Deceased was extremely young ( in his early 30s) which showcases the things that we ignore at times shouldn’t be ignored. Any signal that the body gives should be taken seriously and listened to. Body is like a machine with many parts operating in sync with each other. Even when one of the parts malfunction some sort of screaching sound or some sort of pain is experienced in one part or the other part.
This young man had been complaining of some minor pain just above his waist for past couple of months but no one knew what is happening inside his body and the pain was not that severe. As a result family ignored the same until when the signals became stronger and he started having fever. Even later when he fell ill – for 10 continuous days he was treated with medicines for various ailments that are seasonal like flu, viral or even dengue and malaria. Doctor in his town wasn’t able to diagnose the problem in his body. Fever was coming on and off for at-least couple of weeks.
Finally someone impressed upon the family that a second opinion is required and the patient was rushed to another specialist in Chandigarh where he was asked to get a number of tests done to diagnose the root cause of his illness. Upon looking at the reports doctor immediately asked the patient to get admitted in emergency ward of a major hospital in Chandigarh. But things had gotten out of control by the time he was admitted to critical care.
This extensive suffering could have been avoided if the local emergency department and family physicians, instead of assuming his symptoms to be typical of the viral or dengue from which he was suffering, had stopped to ask ‘what else could this be?’ He was later diagnosed to be suffering from well-described complications of kidney and liver. By the time he was admitted to the hospital his intestine had ruptured as it had lots of toxins in it and lever and kidneys had stopped functioning. Even after doing dialysis on every alternate day, doctors couldn’t revive any of his organs.
I am not saying that this is the case of a wrong diagnosis and blaming the doctor but such lives can be saved easily if we are a little bit careful with our bodies. Even OTC drug abuse ( Paracetamol ) has been known to affect liver. What does it take to talk to a doctor or take professional help. Now that things have become so advanced that you can talk to a professional doctor or even see a doctor and doctor can hear your heart beat through phone then what stops people from consulting that doctor. Moreover with every passing day technological advances in medical technology are letting doctors diagnose better and some doctors by virtue of their location are better informed about the changes in medicine then others.
RxOcean, www.rxocean.com is an initiative of doctors and other members of the community to help those patients whose lives have been impacted by missed or delayed diagnosis, to help clinicians around the world do the best job for their patients. RxOcean helps people take second opinion over the web and that too at a very nominal cost.