Violent responses to adverse events in healthcare is a very common feature nowadays. It has been there for quite some time. Most of the EHA hospitals face the brunt of it on and off. The latest incident was in Chattarpur where few of the senior doctors and officers of the hospital was beaten up after the death of a lady who had come for delivery.
And I had to face a fuming mob today afternoon. The reason was a boy whom we had seen in our Out Patient Department couple of days back. He had been prescribed Tablet Perinorm for nausea and vomitting. Today afternoon, he had developed abnormal posturing which we call extrapyrimidal syndrome secondary to perinorm.
The boy was from the local village and of one of the prominent upper caste families. Couple of people were shouting that the hospital was trying to poison him and another two were babbling about poor quality of medicines kept there. I recognised two quacks from the nearby villages. I was expecting at least couple of slaps or beatings. I had not yet come into the room where the boy was.
By God's grace, nothing happened. As I walked in, there was a sudden silence. Dr Johnson, the doctor on duty had already told me that it looked like extrapyramidals secondary to perinorm. So, it was a bit more easier for me to talk. And, of course, it was extrapyramidal syndrome most probably secondary to perinorm. I asked the nurse to give Inj Phenergan. The boy recovered very soon.
The incident was over in a flash. But, I am well aware that things could have turned for the worse. The mob dispersed quite quickly.
Meanwhile, I wonder whether there could be some law whereby doctors and other healthcare providers are protected from such violent responses from patient's families. One option would be to make violence against healthcare providers a non-bailable offense and increase the punishment for such offenses. That could deter people from doing such acts against healthcare personnel and institutions.