Wednesday, May 20, 2009

It could be worse...

...if you think you're having a bad day.

Yesterday, an unbooked lady* came in to labour ward and promptly delivered a pair of slightly premature, low birth-weight twins. Surprise!

Once she was cleaned up, the labour ward sister did her booking bloods, and it turns out she has syphilis. Surprise surprise!

After that, we got the pret-test counsellor in and... you guessed it... she has HIV as well. Surprise surprise surprise!

Now, she has to spend at least two weeks in hospital while her twins get fully treated for her syphilis, but probably longer as the smallest one has to gain 400g before she qualifies for discharge (you or I may be able to do this in one sitting, but it takes a prem ages). She's also going to get an extremely painful injection in each buttock once a week, for three weeks. She then has to hope that ARVs do actually work out for her, and that she doesn't die a horrible, undignified death a few years from now, leaving aforementioned twins with nobody to raise them (assuming that they somehow dodge the virus and survive their first five years of life - she's chosen to breastfeed, and took no antenatal anti-retrovirals), because her partner/infecter is absent.

So, cheer up. It could be worse.

*An individual who didn't see fit to pop into a clinic once she realised she was pregnant, or at any stage thereafter.

Don't forget!
SurgeXperiences here on 31 May. Send your submissions to - put 'SurgExperiences' in the subject bar.