Blood was oozing from the wound like a water pipe with no stopper. The waste bin was half full with blood stained cotton balls which I had used earlier.Anxiety was creeping all over my body and i could feel my palms sweating underneath the sterile gloves. The lady however was still awake and conscious and responding to my questions normally. I took another cotton ball and used it to apply pressure against the wound and raised the lady’s hand to minimise the blood loss. My heart was beating at 120 beats per minute and it suddenly accelerated when I peeped out of the Dressing Room’s half closed doors. There were about 20 men, dressed up in the usual white shirt and white dhothi of the Politicians. Some of them were carrying water bottles and asking the injured lady whether she wanted a sip of water or not. Why don’t they ask me, I thought as my mouth was drying up at a faster rate at that time. Will I be able to repair the wound after controlling the blood loss? Why is she bleeding abnormally? How would the politicians react if I refer her without giving a proper first aid? These questions were making a thick cloud around my mind preventing me from thinking properly. This day was going to be an unforgettable one as I had to repair the wound of the locally respected celebrity, the Panchayath President.
Suturing wounds requires some skill to do it properly. It usually doesn’t take much longer than 20 minutes to suture a small wound. Controlling the bleeding is the first part of the process and once you have done that, the rest is a walk through the park. Today, controlling the bleeding was becoming the hard part and you can imagine how special the situation would have been if the patient was a local celebrity. The Panchayath President had accidentally injured her own left hand while using the kitchen knife. It would have been a calmer environment if she had come alone or with less than 5 persons to the hospital. The increasing number of politicians were creating an emergency like situation at the Out patient Department. When I enquired her about taking any blood anticoagulant drugs , she calmly replied that she was taking some drugs for a certain heart disease. She was not sure of the name of the drugs though.
After using some more cotton balls to apply pressure against the wound, I somehow managed to reduce the blood loss from the apparently small V shaped cut on her left hand. I used the 2 ml syringe filled with the local anaesthetic to infiltrate the tissue around the wound to make the process of repair painless. This had to be done more cautiously as I was dealing with a celebrity. I used the absorbable suturing thread (Vicryl) to ligate the blood vessel after flushing the area with saline. This could be done only after identifying the bleeding blood vessel that was becoming a hard job in the initial 20 minutes. I had to place 2 more knots around the blood vessels to control the bleeding.
I changed my sterile gloves before going into the actual process of wound repair. The Nursing Assistant had already kept a new suturing thread and a brand new sterile needle ready in the small kidney tray owing to the special circumstances. I double checked whether the local anaesthetic which I had given earlier was still sufficient before doing the suture work. Controlling the bleeding had helped me immensely in calming down. A blood less field to work on is an inviting scene and at that time it didn’t matter whom I was dealing with. After threading the needle I was ready to do the suture work. With the suture material placed in the needle holder in my right hand and the forceps in my left hand I took a deep breath before placing five stitches around the V shaped wound closing it satisfactorily. This took only 10 minutes for me. I then asked the Nursing assistant to dress up the area after applying povidone iodine. My heart was happy like me to beat at a normal speed again.
I had a sip of water when I reached back at the consulting room.The Panchayath President had thanked me for attending to her injury. The crowd of people who had reached the hospital to enquire about the President’s condition had doubled in the last 15 minutes. My mind was still locked on the wound repair as I attended to other patients at the Out Patient Department. Being the Doctor of a celebrity even for a short time is an experience which is difficult to explain with words.