Friday, June 5, 2009

Fact: An abortion is not the same as a pregnancy

The last twenty minutes of the trauma shift are nerve-wracking for me.

I've usually managed to sort out most of the emergencies by then , and am just waiting for the next doctor to arrive. I'm on edge in those last twenty minutes because without fail, always, always, always, some crazy emergency comes rolling through the door. This ensures that I will be tied up dealing with it way past gong-home time.

Like this morning. At 06h40...

Uncle of patient comes into trauma unit, says that Niece had an abortion in January, and now is complaining of tummy pains. "Did the patient have the abortion in our clinic?" we ask. Uncle says yes, and that she just has some tummy cramps that have been going on for a month.

Clearly not an acute emergency.

Niece gets sent to the line to wait for the doctors in the consulting rooms.

Uncle comes back to unit 5 minutes later, saying that the patient is now having a baby.

Confusion reigns.

We insist that Uncle brings Niece into the unit for examination.

Niece is clinically 8 months pregnant, in fully fledged labour with a fetal head crowning between her legs.

Niece is adamant that the tablets she was given for the abortion in January have only started working now in June.

*this is what's known as - "a lie"*

Doctor S and nurses rush the patient on a stretcher through the hospital to the Midwives Obstetric Unit next door, as we do not have the correct instruments for delivering babies in the trauma unit.

Niece "aborts" a full term healthy baby girl. Congratulations Niece!

The whole truth is that Niece wanted a second trimester abortion in January and was referred to a secondary hospital for the procedure. Our hospital only does first trimester abortions.
Niece never went, but still believed that the abortion would happen, somehow.
Niece was in denial for 9 months. Niece thought she could "believe" the baby away.

Niece did not know the difference between an abortion and a pregnancy.

This was not Niece's first pregnancy.

Niece had already been through two pregancies.

The power of denial is mind-blowing.

Doctor S only left her trauma shift at 07h40.


Geraldine said...

SO utterly scary - my mind is a whirl of thoughts about the lack of decent education in SA, the failure of the goverment blah blah blah. Oh Niece, you poor sod.

Lauren said...

LOVE that you have to try explain away stupid people to yourself all the time.
Not sure lack of education can be blamed against the power of full-blown intentional ignorance.
On the plus side, at least she didn't believe it away to the point of burning the newborn in the hearth, or smothering and freezing it under the bulk beef packs, which was the solution for that nutty French woman in South Korea.


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