Classifieds | Archives | Jobs | About TGT | Contact | Subscribe
Last updated 1 hour, 27 minutes ago
Printer Friendly Version | TGT@Twitter | RSS Feed |
Fatma Mohammed Al Saleh: Now you see it, Now you don’t
October 10, 2014
 Print    Send to Friend

Now you see it. Now you don’t. This is how fast the “express toe amputation” happened. At least that’s what I call it. It was a regular day at the Kandy Teaching General Hospital. Casualty theatre. Which meant a crowded room, chaos, and crazy cases. It was one theatre. Not because they lacked in rooms but because the patient load was so big they had no space. An average of four surgeries would be on at once. Each patient beside the other one. No curtains, no barriers. Just gurneys. Only one of the beds was equipped with facilities for general anaesthesia. The rest just got through what they had with some local anaesthetic and loads of teeth grinding, fist clenching, pounding, and loud moan inducing pain. It’s just fascinating what they can do with so little.

Patients came in and out. They had to be treated fast. So each patient came in, got exposed at the site, painted with betadine, injected with some anaesthetic, and either cut open, sutured, got a piece of their body chopped off, or had their wound cleaned. Wrap them up and send them out. Walking most of the time.

That day there was one patient that came in with a gangrenous looking toe. It looked just like a piece of charcoal. I figured he was diabetic. He was laid on one of the beds at the periphery of the room. His fingers intertwined behind his head. He looked so chill. As if sitting at the beach. Without any notice a doctor came and placed a piece of cloth under his foot. Soaked his toe with betadine. Grabbed a scalpel and started incising around the base of that toe. Just like when you use a steak knife. Cut. Cut. Cut. When he was done with the whole circumference and depth, reaching the bone of course, he put his scalpel in the metal dish, held the bone cutter and simply chopped that toe off in one go. TRRK BLOP.
The toe dropped to the side. On with the scalpel again. Hacking off what was left off that charred toe. I have no words to describe what was swarming in my mind. The patient was not on any anaesthetic. He just stayed there in his beach-tanning like position. Wrapped up. Sent home walking. Here comes the next patient. The next story. I asked to take some photographs and was allowed to. But I figure they are too gory to post here.
Follow on Twitter  Instagram: @_theuntitled
Fatma Mohammed Al Saleh, a 22-year-old Emirati medical student,
is training in general surgery as part of her programme in Sri Lanka.
She is a passionate photographer and writer. Fatma shares her deeply
felt experiences about the healthcare system in Lanka.

Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Post a comment
Related Stories
Fatma Mohammed Al Saleh: The Temple Run
It was just another day. Strolling back towards what I called home for this month. It’s more of a house. There seemed to be no kind of emotional attachment. Rather I migh..
Fatma Mohammed Al Saleh: 5% dextrose saline for breakfast
Don’t read this if you are squeamish. This day I learned something new. I learn something new everyday but this was new new, if you know what I mean. 0800 AM. Rise and..
Fatma Mohammed Al Saleh: Crowds, chaos and heat: Clinic hours
10.30am. It is so warm. That’s all I could think about. Drops of sweat slowly found their way down my face. All our faces were dripping. The ceiling fan was not even on. ..
Fatma Mohammed Al Saleh: You need to be patient here
Around an hour later came a short bald white-haired Sri Lankan man who told me to follow him. He said he was taking me to “the doctor” whom I had no clue about. No name, ..
Fatma Mohammed Al Saleh: A first for everything
She was beautiful. The city that is. The sun rose from behind those lush hills and lit up the land. Light seeping through every single leaf of every tree, bush, or flower..
Advertise | Copyright