Day 2 - and here we go!
There are some symptoms that bring a patient to the hospital no matter how small. These symptoms include: Bleeding, severe pain, difficulty with breathing, loss of consciousness or altered sensorium/function, occasionally fever, seizures e.t.c. Of all these, I believe the one symptom that triggers the most amount of fear in people no matter how old they are is bleeding. It seems to be saying, “hey, I’m outside, I’m supposed to be inside the body”. It is the symptom that gets even the laziest doctor off his a** everytime.
A little story to explain what I mean; Growing up in Nigeria, every Christmas, I travelled back east with my family (still do). It was always so exciting because you get to meet cousins that you haven’t seen the whole year and spend the ones you see occasionally and almost every waking moment with them. On one of such occasions doing what we do best, the game for the day was “whose turn is it to ride the car?” The car is a small toy car that can only take one person at a time and it couldn’t move itself anymore. But no, we had to put a smaller person on the bonnet of the car while a bigger person pushed both of them from behind. A small cousin sitting on the bonnet that day wasn’t so lucky because she fell and scraped her knee. She was whimpering at first, until she saw a tiny speck of blood on her knees, then it became an all out weeping and screaming “see blood!”. It took the super powers of her dad to calm her down.
Once in a while, you ask a doctor who just finished call how it was and he/she replies “bloody”. What we mean most of the time is “busy”. I had one of those bloody calls before, but not bloody as in hectic, bloody as bleeding every turn you take. A woman is brought into the emergency room and she complains of bleeding, I do a pregnancy test which comes out positive, it turns out she’s having a miscarriage, she may require an evacuation. Another lady is brought in obviously pregnant and obviously bleeding, no need for too much questions it’s an antepartum haemorrhage, she’s moved straight to the labour ward for the doctors there to take over management following the possible cause.
A little breather, and another is brought in almost unconscious, she’s pregnant, first trimester and bleeding. Diagnosis came out to be a ruptured ectopic gestation and straight into the theatre she went. To cut the long story short, there was almost no kind of bleeding I didn’t see that day. But the funniest was when a young lady walked into the ER, says she’s having a miscarriage. Then after taking her history (story of her illness), examination and a pregnancy test, I realized it was just the return of her normal menstrual period since her last child birth. That was a relief and an actual breather in such a BLOODY call.
What is your reaction to bleeding? Does it scare the lights out of you or what? I’d love to know. Also, what symptoms scare you the most? Just leave your replies in the comment box below.