Had it not been for a private doctor, 80-year-old Muhammad Sadiq, had lost all hopes for survival until a few weeks back. His story was made complicated at one of the premier government hospital of the capital, but thankfully amends were made before it was too late.
Sadiq was brought to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) from Haripur on May 24 to cure his asthma, kidney disease and water in lungs.
The doctors ordered a few tests including an X-ray for diagnosis, following which he was given treatment for pneumonia. All seemed to be well, except for the fact that he was not suffering from pneumonia.
According to one of his relatives Muhammad Hafiz, Sadiq was given high doses of antibiotics, which deteriorated his condition. Unable to digest, he would vomit every time he tried to eat anything and doctors became hopeless for his survival.
“They asked us to inform Sadiq’s family that he wouldn’t survive. What could we do? We tried to keep him happy and gave him all the support we could,” said Hafiz.
When his condition became critical, one of his sons took him to a private clinic, where the doctor, after going through his reports, was stunned to find out that Sadiq was being treated on a young boy named Muhammad Saddam’s reports who was suffering from pneumonia.
Left in utter shock, his son went to Pims and started arguing with the doctors under whom his father was being treated.
“He was ready to take the matter to the media but the doctors and officials got together and tried to settle it down,” said Hafiz.
After 20 days, Sadiq is now able to eat a quarter of a bread slice and walk with others’ support.
When contacted, Pims Spokesperson Dr Waseem Khawaja said certain diseases including pneumonia, tuberculosis and cancer often show similar results due to which the reports can sometimes get overlapped.
Accepting confusion, he said such cases do not take place usually as every patient undergoing laboratory tests is assigned a PC number based on which the results are handed over to his attendants.
He also said that a doctor cannot start treating a patient based on one X-ray report as he has to consult other doctors and go through other medical reports.
“If it wasn’t for the private doctor, we might have never figured out,” said Hafiz, heaving a sigh of relief.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 12th, 2012.