Sunday 18 September 2011
In the cardiac surgery ward today, I was approached by the brother of a post-operative patient. The patient had to be given blood transfusions the previous day because of excessive blood loss. He asked me: "Doctor sahib, nurses nay kaha hay kay issay Neshlay (Nestle) ka juice playain. Woh tu bara mehnga aata hay, hamaray pass tu itnay paisay nahi hayn kay Neshlay ka juice laa sakain. Laikin hamaray pass banday hayn jo khoon denay ko tayar hayn. Aisa nahi ho sakta kay aap isay aur khoon laga dayn takay iss ki kamzoori door hojaye aur hamain issay juice na pilana paray." [Doctor, nurses have instructed us to give Nestle juice to the patient to drink. That is very expensive, we don't have enough money to buy it. We do, however, have people who are willing to donate blood. Is it not possible that you may give him another blood transfusion so that his strength is restored without us having to get him the juice?]
I was stunned for a moment, then I explained to him that we cannot transfuse the patient again because it is not required, and that it's not necessary he buys Nestle; whatever brand of juice he can afford to buy, he can get that.