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My Brief Encounter with an ICU
by Dr. Lavina Noronha

Nov 4, 2010

Intensive care units are devised by hospitals to make you believe that your loved one is being cared for intensively. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that the Intensive care units are the breeding grounds for bloodstream, respiratory tract and urinary tract infections (BSI, RTI, and UTIs).  Twenty four hour stay in an ICU is enough to give you four different strands of killer bugs! How do I know all this? It is because I’ve been in one and so, I have renamed them ‘Insensitive cash units.’ Let me tell you why.

Families of patients are kept out of these units because they supposedly bring aliens (pollutants, viruses, bacteria and the like) from the outside world and cause infections but the administrators forget the fact that they breed a variety of strands of bacteria right inside the ICU. The sub-zero temperatures in the ICU that are supposedly meant for keeping the germs out make an ideal breeding ground for infections.  The so called life support systems in the ICU- the ventilators, suction machines, pacemakers and monitors that take care of all the vital functions for you also help in the growth of fungi, viruses and bacteria and the transmission of the same from one patient to another.  Family members and loved ones believe that the infections are part of the disease process. You run like a fool making several trips to the hospital pharmacy and lug bags and bags of supplies.  Just because you are spending a minimum of Rs. 5,000/- on meds, you assume (falsely) that your loved-one is going to exit the ICU alive. At first they try the traditional antibiotics and when the infection does not yield, they switch to patented/branded ones which means a bigger hole in your pocket. 

Prior to my brief stay I had always wondered why the staff- the nurses, the paramedics and the docs in the ICU were outright cold. Now I know the answer. They stay in the ICU with the A.C. cranked up for 8-12 hours at a stretch and how warm can you expect them to be?  Oh, let me tell you a thing of two about medical hygiene.  I have seen it all. Gosh, they don’t wash their hands, they don’t wear gloves; they leave the used needles right on the bed of the patient.  You see them run around the ICU looking busy with their hands in their pockets.  I once saw the staff nurse pick her nose from under the mask with gloved hand and then handle the patient.  Yikes!

I truly pity Dr. Grumpy’s patients (thank God he was not my doc.).  Every day he comes by the unit two hours later than the scheduled time and eager family members flock around him as he is untying his shoelaces outside the unit. Yes, medical consultation is limited to the brief encounter you have with the treating physician when he is either tying or untying his shoelaces (on his way in or way out of the ICU).  He does not even look up to see who he’s talking to and assures the family “He is doing better.” There is a lot of improvement.”  I often wondered if he remembers his Hippocratic Oath. Now, don’t get me wrong. Not all docs are curt and cold. You see, my doctor is a great guy. I heard him tell my mom once: “Mrs. Noronha, please don’t stay here outside the ICU. Go and rest in the room. We are doing everything we can. I’ll come up to the room on my rounds and let you know how she’s doing.” I thought to myself: ‘Good for you Doc, may there be more like you!’
 Dozens of families of patients wait outside the door with their eyes fixated on the clock. 

The hour-long visiting time does not seem to do justice to their relentless agony.  They just take a peak through the glass partitions during the brief visiting time and wave to the patient if he/she is awake or conscious and say “I see you.”  By the time they catch the attention of the loved one and their eyes connect, the security guard comes barging in and declares, all visitors please go out, we are getting a new patient.” They don’t want you to see when they wheel the gurney in and transfer the patient to the bed and all masked faces gather around ready for some action. Some senior most mouth gives commands:“bag him, intubate, shock him” Believe me, the first time I heard these words I had thought that the police department has been instructed by the minister to kill someone and they were just staging a fake encounter!  Having heard these slogans at least four times a day, I now suspect that these are the code words for life-saving medical interventions!

One morning as I was lost in thought I heard half a dozen voices sing “Happy birthday to you”. I tried very hard to open my eyes and see in the direction of the noise (yes, noise! you don’t expect a choir in an ICU, do you?) but my eyelids were not cooperating. They had sedated me to keep me from pulling out the Naso-gastric tube (the contraption they had inserted through my nose that reached the bottom of my stomach in simple words).  Another name for this contraption is Ryle’s tube, although at the time of insertion it felt as if a garden hose was being shoved down my throat. This contraption is used to pour a glass of concoction (sweet lime extract, painkillers, antibiotics, antacids and at times just plain H2O) every two to three hours.

The singing just made my heart beat faster and the monitor I was hooked up to began making all sorts of beeping sounds.  For a second there I thought I was dead and was having a re-birth. A few minutes later the anesthesiologist came rushing in wiping the cake crumbs off his mouth.  Phew! I guess someone’s birthday is being celebrated; it’s not my rebirth. I realized life doesn’t come to a standstill just because you are struggling between life and death.  The show goes on!  The scrubs he was wearing badly needed a visit to the laundry and the stench that emanated from the green scrubs was enough to make one’s belly churn. I gagged as he approached my bed and he announced: “someone get me an anti-emetic, she’s nauseous.” “I am not nauseous you fool, it’s your scrubs.” I tried to tell him but no word came out of my mouth. 

As the vial was being emptied into my vein, I tried to resist and push the stubby nurse away. Alas! They had tied my hands and feet to keep me from disconnecting the dozen hoses and cables (i.e., catheters).  Right then, the anesthesiologist declared: “Oh no, she’s getting agitated, get a Diazepam shot ready.  It seemed as though he had a prescription for every move I made so I decided to call it quits and pretended to fall asleep. I was not relishing the diazepam shots anyway.

I think keeping every patient sedated is not a bad thing after all. At least you don’t get to see all the disturbing things around you.  Every time I opened my eyes my heart would miss a beat or two- the ICU staff walking around in gowns, masks and hands in gloves like aliens from an UFO was a scary sight. Now, I have learned not to be afraid when I hear a senior voice announce: “Time of death-3:35PM” though I still pinch myself to make sure it was not mine.

Two days went by and I heard the team declare: “It’s not working. Let’s not keep her hanging. Dr. M, you prepare the family. Let the family decide when they want her off life support.”  I was glad they were giving up on me. I did not want to be on life support.  Doctors prepared my family for my departure.  Dr. M and the asst. anesthesiologist jointly decided to break all rules and to let the family come in and say good bye one by one. 

 I was grateful for this chance to see my family one last time and hold everyone’s hands thanks to this humane gesture of the docs (you see, not all docs are like Dr. Grumpy). After the goodbyes, the sighs and the tears, they turned off all the monitors and lo and behold, I began breathing on my own- my heart was beating, my so called failed kidneys started working again.  The docs just gaped at each other and Dr. M said pointing to the ceiling: “We treat he cures. Divine intervention is mightier than all medical interventions put together” and I said: “Amen!”  “Madam, looks like you have a new lease on life what do you want to do now?” asked the anesthesiologist. ‘Wow! from bed number 6 I had become a human being! what a difference life makes when you are no longer hooked to a bunch of machines.’ “Well doc, first thing I wanna to do is to go home and take a good shower. The punji baths (sponge baths) I had for the last six days have turned me into a real swine you see.” I was quick to respond.

Ever since this brief encounter with an ICU, my prayer has been please God, if your will is same as mine, deliver me from the snares of an ICU.  If you have been unfortunate enough to spend a few days in an ICU but fortunate enough to come out alive you will know what I am talking about.

Dr Lavina Noronha - Archives :  


Comments on this article
Tina Miranda, BajpeFriday, July 13, 2012
Hi Lavina, need we always aim to surpass "Western" standards? Who has categorized them as being top notch, if anything we need each individual in their respective professions to treat their work with the diligence due to it. A little empathy might go a long way in the medical professions, AC or not! We need to stop categorizing people by race, nationalities and colours. Do your best and the rest usually falls into place.
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M.prabhu, MangaloreWednesday, April 04, 2012
Mr George, good docs in India earn more than 2 lacs a month. However this is no excuse for the negligence in ICUS. My husband once told me that the ICU staff used the patients bed which were available to sleep in the night.
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amanda, Udupi/MumbaiSunday, October 09, 2011
I fully agree with Dr Lavina when she says that some hospitals dont have good hygiene. I have visited several ICUs in those small hospitals in Udupi and have noticed them to be dirty and smelly. Another very bad habit of some dentists is not wearing gloves and distributing several kinds of diseases. I would advise readers to reject/object such dentists.
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Vincent George, MangaloreFriday, November 12, 2010
Thanks Deshpremi for your encouragement .I further write that Dr Lavina may be aware that ICU in USA Costs Lacs of Rupees per day Even in South Africa in Private hospital ICU Charge per day is RS 30,000(Aprox) Only in India it is Rs 5,000 Least possible and best care Doctors are Paid Just Rs 15,000 to 25,000 Per Month in US they are Paid atleats Rs 2 Lacs Per month Nurses also underpaid .Hence Indian Doctors and Nurses are giving the Best service at the least Price
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Deshpremi, Mumbai Friday, November 12, 2010
Vincent Geroge Your Coment is Excellant You have Highlighted the Importance of putting in ICU and getting Revivived .Keep it up
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morrisdgr8, M'loreThursday, November 11, 2010
Hey Doc's! You Guyz r 4m USA/UK or Gulf.It does not matter to us.What Dr!Lavina wrote is 101% true.Simply advising to get admitted in Big Hosp which is convinient to U,Asking for Scaning/Blood and some other repotrts.Priscribing costly med. Keeping in ICU (even after the patient is Dead)saying patient is still alive. All these things drive U to have commission from the Medical Shops/particular hosp and particular Doctors. We all r aware of it now. And one day will be there (in this life ! not after Death as chrisitianity taught U) to U guy'z neigther U guy'z will fit in the ICU or Municipal Garbage bin..! beleive me.. a feast to the Street Dogs and to the Birds 4m the sky.
(it concern only to those who do steal alive relatives or the patient who are Dead)
And U Doc Lovina....! Hats OFF to U..Being a Doctor U have tried to clean up the mess! Tks.
And shame on U guy'z who are critisizing on Dr!Lovina. Pls critisizers kindly note that "not only U" but, we do aware.. there are 1 or 2(only) good Doctors out there!
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Vincent George , MangaloreThursday, November 11, 2010

I would like to Put some important ponits regarding ICU here.ICU or Intensive Care Unit is indicated for treatment of Emergency or Critical Medical or surgical Conditions so that maximum care is given to the patient .The majour advantage of ICU is the Vital signs like TPR,BP,SPo2,Heart rythm are watched 24hrs in a Day ,In many crtical conditions ifthese are not monitored continously the Patient will go the next stage from which he cannot be revived back .If the Patient is kept in a ward there will be 2 nurses for 20 patients But in ICU there will be 4 nurses for 3 patients .

Hence maximum care can be given .For example one person has just had an Heart attack or Myocardial Infaction then his Rythm may vary every minute and a Treatment can be given immediatly to counter that and patient can be out of Danger specially in the First 72 hrs .Same care cannot be given in wards .Because of all these the cost is higher for ICU .Infection Control is one of the Point but NOT THE ONLY POINT AS WRITTEN BY DR LAVINA here .If the nurse gets itching on nose she can scratch the nose But she might be wearing a Gloves while doing the IV Canulation then there will be no Problem

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simon wilson, Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Dr Lavina your observations are all correct. MEDICAL PRACTICE NO MORE ETHICS ONLY COMMERCIAL. Let us begin new start try to get people who can help us I am one among them to cotribtue the cause of my experience and practical involment.
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Melody Stenrose, USATuesday, November 09, 2010
I have written about the other side of this story. As an ICU nurse I have told the stories from the other perspective. You can read more in my book INSIDE THE ICU. It details real life patients and real life stories of life and death in the ICU.
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Jyothi Furtado,NICU nurse,USA, Barkur/USATuesday, November 09, 2010
Every coin has two sides...Doctor, you wrote only the negative points...where are the positive ones? Don't make the patients to get scared...
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Uday Kulal, mangaloreTuesday, November 09, 2010
For those who wants to know about the author read the below article.

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Anamika, MangaloreTuesday, November 09, 2010
At Catherine: If you are not satisfied you should change your docter or hospital....Nobody forces to stay in one hospital and get treatment.....If you dont want pay there are lots govt Hospital in mangalore where they provide full treatment for free of charge...Stop critizing ....nurses or the paramedics dont kill the patients they try to save thier lives ......
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Vincent George, MangaloreMonday, November 08, 2010
while reading about the article by Dr Lavina I remember the Story of a Boy from Village Going to Bollywood and then Hollywood acting in some Films and after coimng back to his Village writing an article in Media saying that MY MOTHER IS UGLY,MY MOTHER IS DIRTY It is so ridiculous .She says she worked in USA But I think she is not aware of the Fact that USA has put a sanction on Cuba .Cuba Pays USD 15 Per month as the salary to Doctors Government doesnt have enough Funds Still their Health Indicators Like Infant Mortality Rate ,Life Expectancy etc are Better that USA .Only because of the Fact that There is a National Spirit of Helth everybody puts some service .If she is really Concerned about ICU in Mangalore Hospitals let her work in one othe Hospitals ICU and improve them
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joe d'souza, christchurchSunday, November 07, 2010
I do not believe you are a Doctor, if you are, what a disservice you did to your profession!!! After working in different ICUs in different countries, that includes India,I consider your article is nothing but misinformation and of no value to the lay people except causing more stress to them while their dear ones in ICU care. Obviously you have got lot to learn about ICU.
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Katherine , Mangalore - Dubai Sunday, November 07, 2010
People who have blamed Dr Lavina( the author of this article) are criminals themselves or they have not faced the reality. Saving 2 patients in an ICU & killing 1 patient through infection (due to hygenie) is it fair? Let's all accept the fact, hospitals now are cash generating units, and patient care. Awareness will only help us save our dear ones.
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Santhosh Bhandary, Surathkal/DubaiSunday, November 07, 2010
Believe me, its all true. There is no exaggeration what so ever. Yes, I have no personal experience with any ICU. Recently my father in law was admitted to ICU of a famous hospital near Jyothi and everything was as described herein. In addition to above the ICU was manned by fresh or junior doctors. The temperature inside was near freezing and the patient was finally given a warm blanket after repeated requests. It is much better that the critical patient is treated in a normal room or ward itself so that the family members can a keep a watch on whats happening to their loved one. The ICU concept needs to be chaned and I wish and pray at least on progressive hospital in the city takes the first step towards this goal.
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Akhila Rao, Mangalore/QatarSaturday, November 06, 2010
hey u reminded me of my 1 month spend in A. J Hospital ICU. some thng very similar to ur experience. It was really a horrible time in my life
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M.D'souza, Mangalore Saturday, November 06, 2010

Dear DR Lavina ,
sorry to read that you are admitted in such ICU ,as patients are vulnerable to get sicknesses due to low resistance ,but good hand washing is neccessary after touching the pt to prevent cross infection.It is everybody's responsibility to prevent such infections which are at times cause prolonged hospitalisation and even death .

If the health authority keeps count of people who got infection in the hospitals and staff to pt's ratio and which hospital has more cases of infections and what is the reason, finally to make the hospital to pay pt's bill will eventually reduce such infections.

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Edward R. Monteiro, Kulshekar, MangaloreSaturday, November 06, 2010

Dear Readers Dr. Lavina has exposed the truth, the state of the money making hospitals thus fleeing the patients. Many of the comments are from Nurses or from Medical professional persons, who are critical of her. TRUTH IS ALWAYS A BITTER PILL AND PERSON WHO SPEAKS THE TRUTH, SOCIETY DOES NOT LIKE IT.

I know persons who have gone to the hospitals for treatment, were brought home dead after prolonged stay in the ICU. One incident I narrate here, where a person entered the hospital by walking, for BP treatment, was brought home dead after being in ICU. It happened in Mangalore a few years ago. This is not the one isolated incident but there are other cases also. Dr. Lavina is bold enough to expose the happenings in the ICU. Instead of finding fault and be critical of her, it is better for the Medical Fraternity to make deep analysis of the situations in ICU and improve upon.

It is easy for the persons who had criticized her as they have not undergone the hardship and agony of their loved ones in ICU. Let us be realistic and not blindly close our eyes to the realities. After all, we Mangaloreans only know to criticize and laugh at the persons who speak the truth and protesters of injustice. That is our nature. At the same time, there are very good Doctors who give proper treatment and save lives. May their tribe increase. I had met Dr. Lavina only once and seen her work at Ave Maria centre in Vamanjoor, Mangalore.

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Rani, Udupi/UKSaturday, November 06, 2010
The author has tried to instill humour into a more serious issue in India. Its not laughing a matter Ms Noronha. I would rather not call you a Doctor, because your article didnt show any professionalism instead it has increased fear in common man. I agree that we are far behind standards when it comes to health and hygiene but we are making progress in this regard. Your comment on hand hygiene is infortunately the truth but its not only that nurse/doctor's fault, the whole system is responsible for it. Do we have an infection control team in every hospital? Are there in-service training given? You cant just rely on their basic training. The service needs to make an effort to train theri staff regularly. I agree that the jargons used by staff are harsh and difficult for a patient to understand but when you are sinking, is that something you care? My request to all hospitals is First of all have standards in ICU or CCUs so that you can avoid such nasty feedback from your patients who are actually in the same profession by themselves. There is a long way for our health sytem to go to provide quality care in international standards. For the author, having worked abroad it may have been difficult to see the practice but it doesnt give you the licence to talk all ill about Indian health system. There are flaws and it can be corrected. Your article could have been bit more sensitive.This article is an eye opener for all of us to work towards having stadards in our health system.
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VIDYA JAGAN, COIMBATORE/DUBAISaturday, November 06, 2010
hai dr.lavina,u r a humourist.it was really fun reading ur article.however i should say a small 'shame" to the icu wwhere u had been.because i am a nurse also ,had been working for long years in icu.i should say not all icu's r like that.i work in dubai & should say it was a blessing 2 work in an icu.not all the criticism of lavina could match,because all dr,s & nurses were fantastic,& 2 add on i also had been a patient in an icu.& only then my hubby could feel the staffs & dr,s in icu were extraordinary in all their action.& he said to me ull r great.ur job is so touch ,but ull r equal to god.so however,lavina hope ur health is fine now inspite of all the scary experiences in an icu.& moreover a sincere advice to all people,just check ur pocket & choose the right hosp for treatment.because if u go to some government hospitals in india life is horrible .good healthy life to all,\.
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Jimmy Noronha, Bellore/LucknowSaturday, November 06, 2010

It has been my experience that the articles by Dr. Lavina have always been controversial, and this one is no exception! I had once a short dint in the judiciary and despite the state of affairs there, the Director of the Institute had always defended judiciary tooth and nail in public but was equally tyrannical against any erring fellow brother, which I call is the right way to go about to set matters right.

But, here is a doc who lets down her own fraternity so blatantly that one can do nothing but hang one’s head in shame. I wish she had confronted the culprits head on rather than hacking her foot with her own axe.

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Guru Ram Kallaay, BantwalSaturday, November 06, 2010
I wonder whether Dr. Lavina is a MBBS or Ph.d holder in some other social science. If medical doctor, anybody would never narrate their story in the media but rather by their in-built medical power, they will never allow to go on that way till death bell rings but rather any cost would stop then and there it self. That is called love for once own profession. By this it clearly shows that Dr. Lavian is NOT a medical doctor but may be working hospitals in light of her Ph.d studies. To know this someone need not be a rocket scientist but rather it is a simple psychology ! Do you have any answer Dr Lavina? However, story seems absolutely correct. ICU must take care about themselves first lest ordinary people will have to suffer !
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John Cutinha, Bangalore/Santa ClaraFriday, November 05, 2010
Dr.Lavina, thank you very much for writing the truth. May God Bless You. This is what exactly happened to my Friends father who was in the ICU for 3 months in Wockhardt a reputed Hospital in Bangalore. Unfortunately he passed away. Wish we had a chance to read something like this before. I guess his brother has a captured photos of all what you mentioned and will check with him and get back and hope we get a chance to publish this on Daiji for those who would not believe to see for themselves. Reporting to the higher authorities did not make any difference. They don't care, looks like every Doctor has been given a revenue target which is what they care about.
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Siva Avadani, Manipal/DubaiFriday, November 05, 2010

The article is true upto certain extent, i have experienced this case with my own F-I-Law in one of the most prestigious and famous hospital in Manipal. When the patient admitted i had all the points right with the Author.

In the hospital 2 things work vitamin I(influence)and Vitamin M(Money). However being living in U.S i still second Indian Medical facilities are the best. The amount of patients in a day in a hopital in India may be number of patients in USA in a month.

Dr. Loveena you may be tried to give a good message if so it is 100% right. but it looks like a blame on your own profession. A professional should try to improve the system and not critisize his/her own profession and institute in public media.

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adshenoy, mangloorFriday, November 05, 2010
Dr. Kusuma Kummari, Nellore/Kundapur, As a general statement, agreed, most doctors are after money, not only in Mangalore but around the world. Its a fact, doctors in India perhaps charge less as compared to western countries such as USA, CANADA, Australia and so on where private health insurance companies and government run health care systems foot the bills.
It is called "milking the system".

Dr. Lavinas real experiences, I must say real ICU care varies across hospitals. Some are good care givers and others are questionable and it takes a toll on medical staff.

As few nurses here have written nursing is noble profession and it has been rewarded less in India in terms of compensation unlike western countries. Most of our nurses go to UK , canada, USA and Guld and there is real shortage of nurses in India and only providers of nurses are Mangalore nursing institutions.

I also agree with Dr. S. John. Mangalore that ICU units are not set up lightly these units strive hard to give best care but sometimes the care given is perhaps not upto the standard including in westrn countries. I have heard horror stories. It is upto each hospital to maintain the standard of care for critically ill and death row patients.

Dr lavina, your write up, a real life situation. Perhaps you are exposing the truth. But is it so bad across medical institutions in India. IF so, its time to put the standards in place to save life and to provide best care for the ICU patients- lucky and notlucky
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Dr Kusuma Kumari , Nellore/KundapurFriday, November 05, 2010
MOst DOctors in Mangalore now are after money . They critise other DOctors and always balme other Doctors, High time pateints and thier bystanders fight againist thes ehooligans and not doctors who runs after pateints life and make money,
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Dr. Lavina Noronha, MangaloreFriday, November 05, 2010

Generating awareness on a real issue was the intent of the write-up and not to offend anyone. Please look beyond the satire and the humor, it is not a story. Every detail mentioned in the write-up is a slice of reality (varied occasions, different people) and the authorities concerned have been personally met or have been notified about the loopholes and blunders. It is also heartening that some hospitals have brought about changes but some have turned a deaf ear. But my training and my conscience do not permit me to look the other way.

There are a few wonderful hospitals in Mangalore that strive to be excellent health care providers and the majority of health care professionals- Doctors, nurses and paramedics are caring, compassionate, efficient, and effective. However, even a minor error from a fraction of unethical, inefficient provider is still unfair. Patients are not just diagnostic labels or bed numbers they are human beings who deserve respect and dignity.

Having directly worked in hospitals or having been closely associated with health care for the last 25 years both in India and in the U.S., I am fully aware that we have the potential (both human and otherwise) to far exceed western standards. The value of a human life is much more that the cost of disposable syringes and sterile gloves. Best and hygienic practices can save not only our hospital staff from occupational hazards and but also our patients from untimely departure.

Consumers of health care need to be sensitized and made aware of the quality of care they deserve. Setting up external ethics committees and internal medical review boards in our hospitals will surely be a first step towards enhancing transparency and accountability. Rusty suggestion boxes are no good.

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Dr S. John, MangaloreThursday, November 04, 2010
I never expected this type of write up from the author who herself is associated with medical field. It may be sad that the author landed up in a bad unit and might be it is her unfortunate experience, but I am sure Ms. Laveena knows that she cannot generalise the things and create a bad impression. Why the ICU are set up? It is not a guest room of the hospital to allow relatives and guests every time they want to walk in. Intensive care units are set up to treat those who need continuous monitoring of their vital signs and to intervene in case there is some change.Many of those who are critically ill or those who are just ot of anaesthesia after the surgery are kept there. Some are sedated and others are kept on medical gadjets to monitor or to treat the problem.If all ICU were like the one author had picturised in this article, people would have termed them as palliative units. Yes, it is true, many who are terminally or critically ill do not come out alive from ICU, that does not mean all who enter there die. I am in the hospital set up for the last thirty years and I can vouch that in many of the intensive care units the patients get best of the treatment and they come out alive. Intensive care units are not charitable units. The facilities inside costt a lot and invariably the charges are more than the other wards. Patients are normally kept for few hours to few days depending on the need.
One should be more responsible while showing the negative face of any setup.
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Diana Mangalore, MangaloreThursday, November 04, 2010
Dear dr Lavina..am just wondering are you a medical docter or got docterate degree in any subjects....If you are medical professional u wouldnt have written this kind of article.....If the staffs are not working or not washing hands or anything which you have come across first thing you should have noticed to the higher authorty.....the article which you have written is disgusting because you have no idea the hard work of the nurses.....Being am a nurse I am proud to say that I work for the Patients and that my profession.....Wake up please......
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Antony T. D' Souza, Karkala / QatarThursday, November 04, 2010
Dr. Noronha, I remember your familiar writings in Daiji in the past were
“A straight talk about death”, “A death that was’t”, ”One life to live”…
One reader then had commented and called you as ‘Dr. Death Noronha’
due to your regular write ups about death and sarcastically you had one
too close now .

I pity on you about your all tribulations faced every minutes prior to your
actual supposed death. You have conquered the death. Firstly, because
of God’s Grace and secondly, becoz of your alert and brave mind to fight it
out until the end. No doubt, virtually you are a real fighter knowing in advance
what death was meant. Thanks for your fight to live.

About ICU, it is a well established notion that crime takes place in isolated places
although it can’t be generalized. We have to Thank every ICU Units, where many
have been restored back to life in the past and will have to continue in the future too. Exceptions like one we read here has to be curtailed.

Therefore, yours is a special strong case out there. Finally, have you decided to contest it ?
or will allow others to go through the similar ordeal like oneyours ?, I believe,
you will continue to live for others.
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Christopher Roshan Lobo, Kulshekar/BahrainThursday, November 04, 2010
Good article. Recently I heard that in one of the private hospitals in Mangalore, many people have caught malaria during their stay in the ICU. One can virtually see many mosquitoes inside the ICU...God save them...
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Anitha D'souza, brampton/CanadaThursday, November 04, 2010
Hi Dear.. Doc Lavina,being a medical professional I didnot expect such a nasty article by you regarding the ICU. I am being a nurse and worked in ICU for more than 4 years, witnessed to save so many lives and bought smile back on family's face.Sentences used like
" Oh, let me tell you a thing of two about medical hygiene. I have seen it all. Gosh, they don’t wash their hands, they don’t wear gloves they leave the used needles right on the bed of the patient. You see them run around the ICU looking busy with their hands in their pockets. I once saw the staff nurse pick her nose from under the mask with gloved hand and then handle the patient. Yikes! "such a disgusting comment.
Please make it as a story rather than writing as real life experience..make it very clear about the facts you write about.It might not be applicable in every ICU of different hospital.
I love my profession being Nurse ,please do not make fun of any noble profession..Thank you

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praveen, Thursday, November 04, 2010
well jus putting up a board does nt make for an icu. only very big hospitals can maintain real standard icu. you need high ratio of nurses ,lot of protocols in treatment, regular fumigation ,etc. not sure if above story is fact or fiction. anyway we ll soon have NABH accredited hospitals in mangalore , so you can choose the best in town soon.
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Purushottama, ByndoorThursday, November 04, 2010
For me it is a timely article because one of my relatives is in ICU since past 20 days just to get his post operative surgical wounds after by pass surgery healed under AC. One of his next patient is still worse. He was operated once for one block, reoperated to another two blocks "discovered" after first operation and his chest bones refuse to join and give crackling sound and he is operated again to set them right and all the while he is in ICU and so on. The hospitals display the board on patient rights in big letters but no body knows or gets his day to day s on treatment and the person who operated does not have time to visit the patient frequently.
This is not the story of any one individual but our Media highlights only when Government Hospitals fail and when worse things happen at Private hospitals unless a suit is filed the Media just ignores it. Of course our Media has more important things to cover like film actors marrige, cricketers honeymoon politicians resort stay etc.
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A.S.Mathew, U.S.A.Thursday, November 04, 2010
The ICU and CCU are very intimidating locations in a hospital. The sad faces of the relatives sitting at the waiting rooms adjacent to the units is far heart-breaking.

I have worked in a hospital as a non-medical employee, and I could appreciate the blessings of being
healthy. Also, in a humble way, God used me to console them in their pain and hour of anxiety.

As the author has stated, when we an ICU (we may not have the  proper choice in emergencies), we
must be extra cautious about the  hospital, else it can bring early departure to the other world.
Some of the hospitals may have a  sign "ICU", but they are not  operated likewise, either in
service or in medical facilities.
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adshenoy, mangloorThursday, November 04, 2010
DR. Lavina, Is this fiction, fantasy or reality? What ever it is just name it as "Intensive Crime Unit"(ICU)
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Bulsam, MangaloreThursday, November 04, 2010
All the ICUs must have a standard rule that all the hospitals should follow without fail or face heavy penalty. Doctors should not use ICU changing room as their dining hall. The male ward boys misuse their free movement inside ICUs by misbehaving with sedated female patience and in extreme cases they even molest those drowsy serious female patience. The hospitals must provide CCTV inside the ICUs and Post-Operative Ward etc.
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jess, shirvaThursday, November 04, 2010
May be you are in a wrong planet, I am a nurse and the effort we put to keep everthing clean and safe is tremendous. The way this article is put is digusting and a insult on medical profession. Put on a positive aspect and please review again. If thousands of lives are saved each day, then you will be deemed as a liar. If you found the hospital you commented on this bad, it needs to be checked. But please dont blame every hospital and every medical professional. Thanks.
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Uday Kulal, MangaloreThursday, November 04, 2010
Ohh!! is this by you? Is this the real story? Were you really in Hospital?
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vijaya kumar, mangaloreThursday, November 04, 2010
well written.....eye opener to all...hospitals are simply cash generating machines now...i had a similar incident with yenepoya hospital.....
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Anonymous, Mumbai / UAEThursday, November 04, 2010
I can relate to the above narration because I have seen my mommy suffer in the ICU in the same way for no reason. Good article
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cedric, mangaloreThursday, November 04, 2010
So very true. just went through what u are saying in omega hospital
pathetic condition.
you have described it so well. i dont think there is accountability in Mangalore for what the docs n hospitals do.
Attitude is another problem ,if you happen to question the doctors , at least a few of them of anything related with their subject!
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Arwin Rodrix, MangaloreThursday, November 04, 2010
Well outspoken article by Dr.Laveena(DOC, in short)...Thanx a zillion 4 havin made the readers known that lotz of YIKEZ goen on n on n on n on even in the ICU...I've never been 2 the ICU yet n nor do i wanna b!!! May the Almighty take care of those who r in the ICU at this present moment...OOWA!!!
Plz do keep writin such amazin articlez...God Blezz...
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Roshan Rebello, Mangalore/HamiltonThursday, November 04, 2010
An interesting article about the hopefully rare unfortunate experiences in an ICU (probably due to the insensitivity of the medical and para-medical staff to the needs of the patient & relatives).

An ICU by definition indicates that the patient is critically unwell and needs all possible supportive measures to recover from the illness - hence the cost especially in a country without a well developed public healthcare system and limited access to private insurance.

I am sure there are many a doctor and nurse who feel compassion for their patients whilst in ICU but out of necessity tend to develop an emotional detachment.

Having worked in a General & Transplant ICU in a public healthcare system - I can honestly say that the staff in ICU's the world over do a very hard and stressful job for the good of a patient - My apologies to those patients and relatives who have had a bad experience.

Finally a famous quote which every medical professional needs to be reminded of- "No greater opportunity, responsibility, or obligation can fall to the lot of a human being than to become a physician. In the care of the suffering, [the physician] needs technical skill, scientific knowledge, and human understanding. … Tact, sympathy, and understanding are expected of the physician, for the patient is no mere collection of symptoms, signs, disordered functions, damaged organs, and disturbed emotions. [The patient] is human, fearful, and hopeful, seeking relief, help, and reassurance".

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Jasmine Sequeira, Mumbai/ Mangalore/QatarThursday, November 04, 2010
We had a similar incident in our lives 5 years ago. My otherwise healthy hubby was admitted to a well known hospital for slight discomfort. He landed in the ICU and was given the holy annoitment. The doctor kept consoling me that he is a complicated case and no sense in spending money if not covered by insurance. Thank God, we managed to get him out and rushed him to a specialised hospital in Bangalore. The Doctor there told my hubby that nothing was wrong with him and that he was hale and hearty. It is 5 years now and everytime I leave for Mangalore I beg the Lord to bring us back safe and sound. Best doctors, best institutions but your luck depends on which doc!
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Janet D'sa, Mangalore Thursday, November 04, 2010
Dear Dr Lavina,
Absolutely fantastic article about the ICU- & you rightly termed it as ‘Intensive Cash Unit’. You have encountered what I have encountered recently when my dad was in the ICU for nearly 1.5 months and his death was due to the infection in his lungs caught up while he was in the ICU after the brain surgery in one of the well known hospitals in Mangalore. While I waited outside the ICU for hours and hours, just to meet the doctor who only speaks to you when he ties and unties his shoe lace (absolutely rightly mentioned). I have seen almost every-day about 3-4 dead patients coming out of the ICU and this made me so fearful when the nurse or the doctors or the guard (who stands outside the ICU) calls dad’s name (says patient’s party calling) & my heart beat increases till I know the reason of the call.
When I visited the ICU to meet my dad, the patient next to dad was bleeding, absolutely wet & dirty bed-sheets, just left lying. The oxygen mask kept on my dad was absolutely horrible, everything so dirty and pathetic around which was sufficient enough for the patient to die rather live. I had fought with the nurses to provide my dad with one blanket. Patients were sleeping unaware of anything around them, with thin dirty bed-sheets on them. I literally cried everyday to see this state when I entered the ICU. I am talking about a private hospital where cash is the priority – not care.
However, I must say when my dad was in Father Muller’s hospital in Mangalore (moved him after our terrible experience) he was looked after very well, superb staff with very positive attitude, ICU was superb, clean neat and tidy. His last days were spent in a much better place. May his soul rest in peace
I once again thank you Dr. Lavina for treating my dad in such an awesome manner while he was there. Good care, clean environment and superb people.

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Jaya, Mangalore/KuwaitThursday, November 04, 2010
OMG...Scary...is this your true life incident Dr. Lavina?? if so.. Praise the Lord.
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