Category Archives: Life in Medicine

Liver has to be strong!

I was an intern in the medical unit at Gandhinagar civil hospital those days. The usual physician was away on leave and one Dr. Jigarwala was replacing him for a few days. We were on the first ward round with him this morning and it went a bit like this:

“Sir, this is Manoj, is is a 29 years old farmer from nearby village, admitted for jaundice under investigation”

“Give him some ‘Liv-52’, will help his liver.”

*Umm…. its an Ayurvedic medicine marketed (heavily, if I may add) by Himalaya pharmacy, but why would a medical doctor prescribe it? Well, its for liver anyway, so ….*

Next bed:

“Sir, this is Seetaben, she is 65, has pneumonia. Has been admitted for nearly a week, is getting much better and may be going home tomorrow”

“Alright, getting better! Good! Give her some ‘Liv-52’. She has been on antibiotics for a few days, her liver needs a bit of support.”

*M’eh!*

Next bed:

“Sir, this is Rehanabibi, she was admitted after having a seizure yesterday. She is a known patient of epilepsy but had missed taking her medication for a few weeks now”

“Do some blood level checks of her medications and start her on regular medications again. And yes, give her some ‘Liv-52’ caps, all these epilepsy medications can really destroy your liver”

“Sir, this is Dasbhai, he was admitted with a cerebral stroke last week. His CT scan showed an infarct. Apart from other things, he has developed hemiplegia and he is finding it hard to swallow food.”

“Make sure the physiotherapists see him. And give him some ‘Liv- 52′”

“Sir, he is already taking ‘Liv-52’ it seems” (pointing at the bottle of Liv-52 capsules by the patient’s bedside)

“*baffled*.. ah……”

“Well actually, stop those tablets, give him some ‘Liv-52’ Syrup. How is he going to swallow tablets with the recent stroke?”

This went on for a bit.

Any guesses why would a physician prescribing a medicine he’s not even supposed to prescribe and on the top of that ensuring even patients already taking it gets a fresh prescription for a refill? What? Did you say you think there is a company rep sitting at the nearby pharmacy keeping track of the physician’s ‘performance’ and matching them with his ‘rewards’?

How dare you be cynical about the noble profession!!!

 

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