I was like Jesus help me! Help me! This pain is too much. Please help…She’s a Nigerian doctor who experienced anesthesia failure.
A Nigerian Medical Doctor, Dr. Lole Gbarale, recently took to social media to recount her ordeal in the surgical theatre when she woke up to watch surgeons rip her open in excruciating pains as the anesthetic agent administered on her before the operation wore out.
She recounted: “It all happened like a flash…I was at the salon with my friend when I noticed a sharp pain in my right lower abdomen and I just brushed it off. I mean, I was preparing to jet out the next morning. So we finished and went to see a movie. Now, by the time we finished, I literally couldn’t walk anymore.The doctor in us kicked in! And I paused and quickly examined myself and elicited the signs to diagnose acute appendicitis and they were all positive. So, we went to do a scan and it was true. I went to see a surgeon to clear me to fly the next morning and he examined me and said, “If you as much go a feet in the air, the pressure will cause rupture. You need surgery tomorrows.”
“Now, this was already 8PM on Sunday. I called my dad and explained and also called my best friend who immediately got ready to fly down to where I was the next morning.
“I was taken to the theatre, prepped for surgery and I was injected with aesthetics and muscle relaxant, masked and bagged. Briefly, I was off but after a while, I realised I was conscious but because of the muscle relaxants, I couldn’t move. So, I just assumed the surgery was over. Then, I felt them drape me and the next thing, I heard the surgeon say, “OK, so we are about to start….” I was like, “What do you mean?” He then made the first cut and I could feel every single thing. I tried to move something but couldn’t. I tried. Gosh! I started praying.
“I was like Jesus help me! Help me! This pain is too much. Please help! And while I thought it was a laparoscopic surgery and that there won’t be more cuts, the surgeon said: “she has multiple adhesions and we have to do an open surgery”. I was like, no! God, no! And then, they started cutting again. Lord Jesus!
Finally, it ended and it was my worst nightmare. I got out and tears welled up in my eyes as I was awake for over three and half hours of surgery.
My surgeon and anesthesiologist kept apologizing. Truthfully, I don’t blame them because they didn’t know. But in all, I am grateful to be alive and well. This is my story. My awareness”.
Since this revelation, opinions have soared on who should bear the blame for this failure of anesthesia. Is it incompetence on the part of the surgeon and anesthesiologist involved or the patient’s body? Could they have discovered if they had been more observant of their patient?
Many online commentators blamed the medical team involved in the surgery as they were wrong about the correct dosage that would last the patient throughout the operation.
Health professionals on the internet also gave informed opinions on what could have happened. One of them, under the moniker, funmisticqueen, explained:
“The human system is dynamic and that a dosage of anaesthesia that worked for Mr A, may result in the death of Mr B and also, may not be adequate for Mrs C.”
She however pointed out that the patient being a doctor herself, she understood this fact and that is why she is not pressing any charges or suspecting foul play.
“It happens all the time,” she said”.
She suggested that a panel of inquiry must be constituted to investigate the cause of the failure and that the patient must undergo psychological counselling to ease her out of the traumatic experience,