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Real Cases

August 25, 2010

These are three real cases I’ve encountered since the beginning of my medical training. As you read these cases, consider the cause behind the poor patients’ predicament, and whether things could have been any different.

1 A 30-something male patient presents complaining that he can’t crawl anymore. You see, he has a neurological disorder called multiple sclerosis, which left him crippled that he could only crawl. Moreover, when he was 6 months old, he had an episode of meningitis, and has lost the ability to hear sounds, and consequently, the ability to speak.

2 A mid-forties female patient was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer months ago. She had noticed the breast mass before, but she didn’t see any doctor about it, nor was she encouraged to do so by her family. The oncologist practically begged her to excise the tumor, but she somehow refused. A few months later, the tumor was found in her liver, and the doctor begged for chemotherapy, she also refused. Now she is admitted for headaches that turned out to be due to spread of the tumor to her brain. Her family prefers that she is not told about the brain tumor.

3 A male patient presents to a neurologist for headaches and vomiting. A CT scan is ordered, and an infectious brain cyst is found. He is treated with antibiotics, but is not relieved of his symptoms. Weeks later, another CT shows the rapid growth of that “cyst” and it is shown to be a brain tumor. A hemispherectomy (removal of one half of the brain) is planned, after which he will possibly lose a lot of his cognitive abilities, and suffer of weakness and vision loss, among other outcomes.

The least I can say, is that there is no one factor that to blame for patient suffering. But there is always a window for improvement somewhere, and everybody: from patients, to doctors, to the society at large, has their own role.


From → Life in Medicine

  1. good to know that there is someone around blogsphere in the medical field πŸ™‚ welcome pal πŸ˜€

  2. Nice to meet a colleague. Welcome πŸ™‚

  3. Douja permalink

    You know with all these illnesses we never look at ourselves and feel blessed for what we have or rather what we lack in all of this

    • So true Douja, that is a perspective human beings should not lose sight of…

  4. It’s hard to hear about cases like this. I work for a organization that deals with breast cancer and these are the cases we try to combat…but some people still fall through the cracks.

  5. Yep, there are always these unfortunate cases that just fall through, we should work on increasing the people’s awareness to their own bodies!

    Oh, and may I ask: What organization do you work for?

    Thanks for visiting my blog! πŸ™‚

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