What should I do? My patient just died in my hands.

I am here sitting alone.

7 pm

The eerie silence in the side room makes your body cold but your heart alert.

There’s sounds everywhere. Here, there’s constant ventilator’s beeping of alive patient divided by intermittent alarms of dying ones.Here being sonorous means you are alive.

Welcome to CCU. Where the only thing you dread is loud, red sound.


As I am sitting here in the side room, I am feeling cold.

I am feeling teary.

I am feeling sad.

I am feeling numb.

My patient just died in my hands. Both metaphorically and medically.

And I can’t walk.

I can’t speak.

All I am feeling is this vast ocean of tortuous silence.

As I write this down, there’s another flood rushing from my eyes.

I am feeling lightheaded, as if just a small prick, and a like a balloon it will fly high away anywhere.

Why did he have to die? I don’t have the answer.

3 of us gave CPR the best we can. And yet we failed. This failure is much deeper than it looks.

As I look down on my palms, I feel there’s blood on it. His blood.

In this moment, I wish to be wrapped around in a warm blanket and be kept in my Amma’s womb. Again.

Take me home Amma. It’s too cold here. It’s too silent here. It’s to heavy here.

It is too heavy to be a healer.

It is too difficult to be a doctor.

It is too emotional to be a medico.

In this moment, I am just feeling my heart beating, mingled with buzzing of bellavista ventilators.

It is beating slowly. It’s afraid if it’s too fast it will make some noise. It just wants to fade away. Fade away into this syrup smelling air of CCU.

My soul wants to escape. Escape from this prison of a body and hug some warm soul tightly. So much tightly that an eternity passes away.

As I look around, my seniors, my super exhausted, super hardworking anesthesia residents are toiling in and out. Not wasting a second. They shed some tears. And move on.

May God bless them. Infinitely.

Move on to othe patients who can be saved. Who can be salvaged.

Salvage, it’s a pretty funny thing no?

One imperfect human determining whether another damaged imperfect can survive or not.

Can live or not.

As I peep out of the side room, my mind wants to hide inside itself. Doesn’t want to face the world. Doesn’t wish to see the cold body of his. Again.

What should I do now? My patient just died in my hands.

As tears flow and drench my white N95 mask, my heart wonders,

What should I do?

Yours Only,

Dinesh Raja.

How knowing your patient’s name properly can save lives?

Why you should double-check the names of the patient while sending to blood bank!?

What’s in a name? Nothing much, but it can save lives.
Or at Atleast prevents preventable deaths!

Do you think a mistake in name can lead to the demise of your patient?
Let me give you some clues.

Mistaken Identity. Mistaken Blood group sample sent. Mistaken Blood transfusion.
Transfusion Reactions.

Then what?
Maybe nobody knows the cause and it’s forgotten.
Or worse this can very well get converted into Medico-Legal Case, and one may be charged since it very well comes under medical negligence.

Some of my fellow newbie interns,

  1. Always check the list of patients admitted to your unit/ward.
    It may very well happen that there are multiple patients with the same name.
    Be very careful in such scenarios!
    There is a very high chance of blood samples getting mixed up.
    In such cases do write the whole name or maybe just their initials.

  2. Always double-check the name and registration number of your patient while sending it to the Blood bank.

  3. Always read the file of your patient.
    If not the entire file, at least read the first page of the file, to get to know about the case and the reason you are sampling.

  4. Always call out your patient’s name!
    Don’t just blindly go to some bed after asking your co-intern/staff/resident and start collecting blood like a machine.
    Talk to your patient.
    Listen to them.
    At the back of your mind, cross-check whether it’s the same patient.

  5.  Always have compos mentis.
    Whether you are on Emergency or Casualty, or even ward duty, always be calm and be present in the moment.
    Be conscious of what you are doing.

These are little things, which may big time saviour for you and your patient.
Have you got any more ideas/habits/suggestions to add?
Be my guest, and tell me:)

Till then,
Stay happie, Stay Alive.