What if a surgeon gets acute appendicitis in the middle of an operation?
If you’re this Chinese doctor, you complete the surgery – and carry out eight more.
Obstetrician Liang Fuqun was already feeling abdominal pain before he went to work at a hospital in Si county, Anhui province, in eastern China, on June 24.
But he decided not to seek immediate treatment: he had eight Cesarean sections and a laparoscopy scheduled for the day.
The pain became hard to bear when Dr Liang started his third C-section of the day, according to a report on the county’s official social media page.
Initially suspecting a problem with his pancreas, he got a CT scan which revealed no problem. And so the doctor returned to the operating room, although he required injections of painkillers in order to carry on working.
In surveillance footage uploaded to digital news platform Pear Video, a fellow doctor was seen giving Dr Liang an injection as he worked at the operating table.
An hour later, the obstetrician, apparently in severe pain, was seen leaning against the wall with a hand pressing on his belly. A colleague gave him another shot.
After delivering nine babies – one of the mothers was carrying twins – and assisting in the laparoscopy, Liang was rushed into surgery to have his appendix removed.
“There was a power outage yesterday, so surgeries got piled up,” Liang told Pear Video while recovering on a hospital bed. “We doctors cannot afford to be sick. If we get sick, so many patients will be waiting.”
An overburdened healthcare system has seen medical staff in China working long hours, with low salaries and sometimes even at risk of physical assault by patients.
On the Twitter-like social site Weibo, internet users praised Dr Liang while questioning why he had to work at all.
“It was extremely irresponsible for the hospital to allow that,” Weibo user Shuohua13 commented. “It put the lives of both the doctor and his patients at risk.”
Others have pointed out that the hospital might not have had a choice.
Heavy workloads and low salaries are deterring many young Chinese from the medical profession. Hospitals in poor areas like Si county are having a hard time recruiting.
Source: Inkstone News