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Sorry sir, you are now bilaterally below-knee-amputated…

October 23, 2013 Leave a comment

Losing a limb is an ultimate loss, a great trauma to a man. Not to mention if one has already lost one leg.

This patient has underlying cardiomyopathy which had led to multiple thrombo-embolic event, thus has had right leg BKA. (BKA= below-knee-amputation)

Now his left foot was at risk of ischaemia and infarction. Radiological result showed that his AT (anterior tibial) artery was blocked, hence the surgeon wanted to explore the PT (posterior tibial) artery to see if it is salvagable for a bypass using his long saphenous vein.

Unfortunately, his PT was blocked too. So they decided to do a BKA.

It is a huge decision, of course I am sure they would have already told the patient about the chance of getting to this stage. However, the patient was under epidural anaesthetics, he could hear and might even feel what was going on. The surgeon just stood up from his wheel-ed chair and said, “okay, BKA!” and proceeded to cutting his leg.

He sensed something wasn’t right and was shouting “What… what’s going on?”

The surgeon, without bothering to at least explain to him about their findings and why they decided to do so, continued chopping off the muscles and sawing the bones.

Poor fellow, and the anaesthetist too, didn’t address his concern, went on to top up his epidural dose and sedative to calm him down, thinking that he reacted that way because he could feel the pain.

I was scrubbed in to assist, and to be honest, I was a bit traumatised and felt sad & sorry for the man.

Is there truely nothing better can be done for him?

Ponder…

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Categories: crap, Random Thoughts, Rants, UK
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