September 22, 2004

Toxic Tuesday

Obgyne as a specialty is simply not my cup of tea. Tough I somewhat enjoy the rotation (rather more like got the hang of it), I hate the waiting and the anticipating. It's like doing Beckett's play, "Waiting for Godot," over a span of 36 hours doing nothing but engaging in belly rubbing sessions known as "labor watch".

It's one of the laborious and most inefficient medical methods of assessing uterine contractions. I feel you're being chained to the patient 24/7 as if in only 5 seconds, the mother's womb will blow up like Mission Impossible. It's as if that that person is the only patient in the whole ward. It's not only a waste of precious time but also shows how primitive and left behind is our medical field. The equipment needed is a tocometer, but if there is none, all you have to rely is on one's sense of touch. Simple but really impractical. Especially during the peak season.

Speaking of peak season, yesterday I got the taste of blood. In quick successions, mothers in the throw of giving birth were being rushed one by one like an assembly plant of human fetuses into the labor room then to the delivery room. It's a madhouse. Government hospitals must have double the trouble. It's adrenaline rush indeed, to see that after waiting hand and foot for a very long time the patient suddenly shifts to high gear with all the residents and intern involved in alert mode.

They would say, "Ok! put in 8 units Syntocinon to present IV, stat!", "Prep (means to scrub up) na, people! Lalabas na yan!", "Misis, pagtumigas ang tiyan, huminga nang malalim, pigil, and push!! One! Two! Three!... Ten!", "Mali pag-iri mo misis! Magconcentrate ka!" .... it was really a mad mad night.

And when the baby's head is already jutting out the canal, the resident is ready to catch it while I have to clamp, milk and cut the cord quickly and cleanly as possible. After baby's dreadful exit, it's down to the expulsion of the placenta, cleaning of the uterus, and suturing of the vaginal lacerations.

But even though it's a chop-chop timed regimen, the amount of patients pouring in is really nerve wrecking. I just wish my next duty is benign. I wish. I wish!!

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