I am on call again today and had a quick break in the day to come home for lunch, a rare treat. I am hoping for a particularly quiet night as I am feeling quite run down and tired.
Medicine can at times be quite scary. Whether you are facing an aggressive patient who wants to turn you into mince meat or are doing a procedure that you haven't been trained to do, but are winging it, to try and save a life, things are definitely scary!
A few weeks ago, whilst I was on call, I was summoned to the ward at 3am. A patient had miscarried at 4 months and the fetus needs to be examined by a doctor. I went up to the ward and found a little package waiting for me in the sluice room. This is the part that I hate. A baby at this gestation, is fully formed, but looks like a little alien. I unwrapped the plastic and something moved in my hands. I shrieked loudly and one of the nurses came running to see what was the matter.
NURSE: Doctor are you OK?
LITTLE MISS MEDIC: Yes but the baby moved.
NURSE: Ha, ha Doctor. You are funny! It can't move, it is dead!
LMM: But I swear I felt it touch my arm.
After much convincing and hand holding the nurse finally examined the fetus with me. Its little limp arm had flopped over and that was what I had been so afraid of. It was a perfectly formed baby girl, with the cutest little fingers and toes. So sad. I weighed it and documented all my findings.
I wrapped it up again and took it with me to Labour Ward to deposit it in the chest freezer. This freezer looks like a normal freezer that you would keep extra meat in, perfectly harmless. I lifted the lid and pulled back a paper covering...
Lying underneath the covering where 4 little frozen babies. Just lying there. In a row. Definitely the freakiest way to keep the fetuses. I mean c'mon. Wrap them up. In dark plastic. Or something. That is horror film material right there!
A week later I was on call again and could not prevent myself from having another peek in the freezer...
There were only frozen placentas this time, not so exciting!
This is now my favourite trick to play on the medical students...hee hee.
Let's hope no mini corpses tonight!!!