18 December 2016


A Mining Duty to Remember:
                                                      Purunapani is a dolomite limestone quarry (PL&DQ) in Sundargarh district of Odisha, is around forty kilometers from Rourkela Township. That place and the colony were under Rourkela Steel Plant with one small hospital to look after the mining workers, tribal population and their relatives.
                                     That was a month of April and summer was palpable. The connivance was provided by the RSP transport department, through an out sourced Ambassador Taxi. Sanjoy with two more doctors, a gynecologist and a pediatrician were to visit that Purunapani hospital but at the last moment other two dropped out and Sanjoy was the only doctor to visit that hospital on that day. After reaching the guest house around lunch hour Sanjoy was served with piping hot rice, fish curry, salad and a vegetable curry followed by Chenapodo.He was asked to take some rest and proceed to the hospital at 4PM.
                                                         There were only three patients in the medicine outdoor and one paediatric patient. As there was no more patients the compounder of that hospital requested Sanjoy to take a pregnant patient in the taxi to IGH, she was in labour pain. The taxi driver was reluctant to take that private patient for a three hours bumpy ride. There was no lady doctor on that day and the nurse on duty was not competent enough to handle a primi.Sanjoy being a medicine specialist was hesitant because of two reasons, one if she delivered on the way and child dies or mother bleeds too much then? The driver was also hesitant. The mother in law of that lady begged Sanjoy to help her, as there was no other transport in that locality. The only RSP-ambulance had a very weak battery hence the driver refused to go.
                                                      Sanjoy took a bold decision and asked the driver to take the pregnant patient to IGH, Rourkela. Along with the pregnant lady in labour her mother in law too accompanied her in that taxi. By the time they crossed Biramitrapur area it was getting dark. The driver stopped the car near a Dhaba, took tea and some hot somosa.Sanjoy too took some and paid the bill. The driver was asked to drive carefully or else the lady may deliver on the way. The middle aged Guajarati lady was reciting hanuman chalisa.Intermittently the lady was shouting and crying as the uterus contracted. Sanjoy was thinking to himself what a Saturday; he should have refused that trip. The mother was asking Sanjoy to examine her daughter and tell whether she can reach the hospital or not, she too started crying. The lady could find a difference between a male medicine doctor and a gynic doctor. The driver shouted and asks them to keep quite as it disturbed his concentration on driving. Sanjoy took the hand of that lady and counted the pulse, examined her heart with the Littman stethoscope and said—don’t worry she will reach hospital safely and nothing is going to happen to her in the taxi. Sanjoy was consoling himself more than the ladies in the car. He went on telling soothing words to the mother as well as to her daughter in law as his own heart rate started to accelarate.
                                          The driver gave a suggestion to drop her in the next private nursing home so that the problem gets over, but the lady wanted IGH only. Sanjoy was upset and told the mother that they should have gone to Rourkela few days before the expected date. It was already dark when the taxi crossed Panposh.They could have dropped her at Rourkela Government hospital but Sanjoy decided to take her to IGH.
                                          The taxi went straight to the casualty department of IGH and dropped the patient. Sanjoy asked the casualty doctor and the in charge nurse to shift the patient immediately to the labour room. She was a private patient hence had to deposited money. The taxi driver dropped Sanjoy at his sector 18 house and went away. Sanjoy was a relieved man.
Next day Sanjoy wanted to know what happened to the lady patient he brought in the official taxi to IGH.Nurses on duty praised Sanjoy for the sweets and helping a pregnant lady patient. “But I did not send you any sweets” Sanjoy was curious to know who gave the sweets in his name.
He came to know that the rich Guajarati lady had distributed sweets after her daughter in law gave birth to a male child. She could not recognize Sanjoy the next day and said ‘she had given the doctor’s fees and taxi fare to the driver’. Sanjoy just smiled and left the ward.
Those were the days.

Sanjoy Kumar Satpathy

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