I received her in my greatest spirit, enthusiastic and at the best of my clinical wits doing what I know best to do, clinical medical practice . It was just fever following delivery of immediate neonatal death 3 days ago .
This is her 11th delivery but 5 children only alive to show. She is still young, 36 years but looked in her late 20s. She has lived a good life with a very supportive husband. Yes puerperal sepsis, I am familial with, there were retained placenta products as the nidus for infection. As usual normal barrage of potent broad spectrum antibiotics parenteral on admission.
Doctor ! doctor !, doctor !!! please come now urgently. I rushed back there for a supposedly stabilized patient. Hey, twitching, convuions, meningeal signs were all there. Fever, Neck stiffness this time around, Unconsciousness. Basic medicine now. No longer obstetrics my field. Best practice of physician consult while doing my best. Patient showed remarkable signs of improvement. All of a sudden, death before physicians arrival. All in 12 hours. Perusal of documentations in case note confirmed the suspicion of meningitis The type C it must be by its brisk or sudden course to mortality.
From Zamfara state the patient was referred. Vaccination with the type C vaccine free of charge would have prevented my sadness on the workers day. It was not a happy workers day for me. I need every consolation I can get just as the family can hardly put behind the death of a mother. I am perplexed, in medicine when you think you are winning, just hold your brief, for it is not over until it is over.
We doctors often can't really smile, we just force on the smiles. The traumas are many but worst with a mother, the home maker. Should I still practice clinical medicine? That depends on how many I ultimately make happy and the few that make me sad like this one. But today I feel like I should stop practicing medicine with this kind of sadness. Please have you immunized against meningitis if you are living in the meningitis belt of the far North.
In Sokoto our able governor, Gov Tambuwal has made enough type C meningitis vaccine available free of charge through the honorable commissioner of health. The field workers are going round now. Show up and be immunized . A stitch in time saves nine ." .......Dr Aaron Ukwu.