November 18, 2008

1000 dollar baby.... almost!

Sangeetha's baby was a extremely preterm baby with respiratory distress syndrome.
Within 2 hours of age it was clear she was going to worsen and hence we decided to ventilate her and give her survanta - a special medicine given directly to her lungs. The survanta is 8 milliliters, is given in 5 minutes and costs a whopping 10000 indian rupees. Thankfully she did well after that and within a few days was off the ventilator. After carefully nursing her and letting her feed, today finally she was fit enough to go home. Her total bill including the ICU stay and the ventilation came to about Rs. 20000. Add the survanta charges and what was spent was about 750 US $... almost a thousand dollar baby - thats about the most expensive baby we have had at our hospital!!

November 16, 2008


On my website Addicted2Jesus, I have a section called Meditate-a-Minute. Its a series of short articles and some stories that I have written over the years.
It's been pretty dormant for some time and i decided to finally re-awaken it.
For starters, i first installed a script so that surfers can submit articles and even comment on the articles. So that makes it more interactive!
And now to get down to adding more content and newer articles.
You can read the articles at addicted2jesus - meditate a minute and let me know what you think!

November 8, 2008

Evan Almighty

I saw clips from this movie a few months ago in church (yes.. in church!)
Its a modern day Noahs Ark comedy remake with a message. You can read the review for Evan Almighty here.
My favorite part of the movie is this:
There is a great scene, just past the mid-point of the movie, where Evan’s wife (Joan) who has just left Evan, speaks with God posing as a waiter in a restaurant.
Joan: What is the story about, then? The ark?
God: Well, I think it’s a love story about believing in each other. You know, the animals showed up in pairs. They stood by each other, side by side, just like Noah and his family. Everybody entered the ark side by side.
Joan: But my husband says God told him to do it. What do you do with that?
God: Sounds like an opportunity. Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, do you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If they pray for courage, does God give them courage, or does he give them opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for their family to be closer, you think God zaps them with warm, fuzzy feelings? Or does he give them opportunities to love each other? Well, I got to run. A lot of people to serve. Enjoy.
The reason this conversation is so important is that in the beginning of the movie Joan tells Evan that the kids prayed for a dog, but she prayed that they would become closer as a family.
At this point she reverses her decision to leave him because he is so weird and come together to sort out the ARK!
Many times in life we want the answer to our prayer be very straightforward and thrust in our hands - and we miss the opportunity to really enjoy the pleasure of answered prayer!
You can see the clip of this dialogue from Evan Almighty here.

November 5, 2008

A blow to the head (x3)

Part of the profession is to deal with a situation when the unexpected happens. A lot of times I'm left wondering if I could rewind those few minutes that made the difference between a well child and a sick one.
I'll briefly tell you about children who came to the hospital with injuries.This blog post is not for the faint-hearted.
1. A 4 year old girl was playing on the balcony of the first floor at home when she tripped over the low parapet wall and went plunging head first to the ground. She was brought with no heart rate or breathing to the ER. Inspite of attempted resuscitation she did not survive.
2. A 6 year old girl was sitting behind her dad on the moped when they both fell down. The girl had a fractured skull and was paralysed on her left side. They took her to another hospital after coming to our ER and doing the CT scan. Fortunately, although she had a fractured skull and a blood clot in her brain, she recovered completely and the neurosurgeon called me a couple of days later to tell me she was OK.
3. A 2 month old infant was lying in his cot when he rolled over and fell down about 3-4 feet. He was brought with a fractured skull but was otherwise well.

All three are accidents - but accidents that could have been easily prevented: a higher parapet wall, a helmet, cot with siderails, some attention and supervision is all it would have taken.
Looking after children is a full time job. There are no shortcuts to safety and supervision. Just like any disease, with regards to accidents too prevention is better than cure. As doctors we cannot perform miracles - although at times we are left wondering how a child recovers!!
Accidents among children are fast becoming a leading cause of death, disability and hospitalisations both in the west (where more statistics seem to be available) and now in India too.
But I'm not here to post statistics and graphs. I'm just here to drive home a simple message: Take care of your child - even at home and when you are with your child!

November 1, 2008

Sick children and puppets

One of the biggest blessings in my pediatric OPD are the cartoons, puppets and colorful pictures in it.
I'd blogged about the transformation of the Pediatric OPD about a year ago.
Everyday its amazing how children grab the toys, stare around in awe and squeal with joy. Of course there are still those who bawl and bawl and shed a liter of tears!
This short mobile video clip shows a child with a chest infection having fun in the OPD.

Apologies for the poor quality of the video and the glaring window in the background - you can still see the childs glowing face!