Code Blue

“Code Blue, TICU” That was David. I rushed to his room as part of the Trauma Team, not really knowing what was going on. His lips were gray and there was not the slightest hint of red on his cheeks. His pulse was faint and erratic. The multiple sensors attached to his body displayed a desperate SOS. His oxygen saturations were low. SOS. His blood pressure kept dropping. SOS. He was cold. Continue reading Code Blue

Cartas desde Kaohsiung

A la señora H le fallaban los riñones. Le aquejaba también una anemia severa, por lo cual necesitaba una transfusión de sangre – un procedimiento al que ella se había rehusado. El Dr. Tsao se sintió confundido. En Taiwán, no es común que un paciente se rehúse a recibir un tratamiento recomendado por sus médicos. Por el contrario, los pacientes tienden a estar de acuerdo con estos, por deferencia, aun si más tarde deciden no seguir las “órdenes” médicas recibidas. En lugar de utilizar la autoridad de la que usualmente dispone, el Dr. Tsao simplemente tornó su atención al paciente y preguntó: ¿Por qué? Continue reading Cartas desde Kaohsiung

Letters from Kaohsiung

Mrs. H’s kidneys had failed. She had also developed severe anemia necessitating a blood transfusion, a procedure which she had refused. Dr. Tsao was somewhat perplexed. Patients in Taiwan don’t typically refuse treatment. If anything, they tend to agree with the physician out of deference and decide later not to carry out the ‘doctors orders.’ Rather than resorting to force of authority, however, Dr. Tsao simply turned to the patient and asked a simple question – Why? Continue reading Letters from Kaohsiung

Variante XXI (English translation)

At the operating room he found his patient: a little girl. She had already received the appropriate liquids, and machines had been installed on her body. Thus, he began. “Scalpel.” “Forceps.” “Suture.” Everything was quick to arrive. He was sweating. “Her heart, doctor,” he heard. Come on! Answer me! he whispered as his hand pressed and released, pressed and released, pressed and released the small heart. Wake up! Wake up! Come on, wake up,  for goodness’ sake!  Continue reading Variante XXI (English translation)

Variante XXI

En sala, se encontró con que su paciente era una niña. Ya le habían suministrado los líquidos e instalado las máquinas. Y comenzó. “Escarpelo”. “Pinzas”. “Hilo”. Todo le llegaba al instante. Sudaba. “El corazón, doctor”, oyó. Vamos, responde, murmuraba mientras con su mano oprimía y soltaba, oprimía y soltaba, oprimía y soltaba al pequeño corazón. ¡Reacciona! ¡Reacciona! ¡¡Por Dios, reacciona!! Y por varios minutos el equipo que lo asistía observó cómo insistía en aquel masaje aun cuando el agudo chillido del monitor se prolongaba. Continue reading Variante XXI