World Cup Final: That was the last vacant bed in ICU

Vipul Chakurkar
World Cup Final: That was the last vacant bed in ICU

World Cup Final: That was the last vacant bed in ICU

2nd April 2011- The day my contemporary Indian cricket fans never wish to forget. 28 year world cup drought ended with a nail-bitting chase by Dhoni & co. Billions of Indians in India & abroad were pumping their fists when Dhoni hit the inarguably his best six off Kulsekara.

But I remember the day differently. In to final phases of my 1st year of Medicine residency, our unit had an emergency day that saturday. I followed quarter & semi-finals very religiously but had to miss the final. Though I could join others watching the match in doctors' mess, i refrained myself. (Not that I was extremely sincere, but coz India had lost 2003 final when i watched the match!)

The OPD had usual load. I was looking after female ward, had just 3 admissions. Then at 3pm I got a young patient with OP poisoning. She was stable, though. Then started the match. For me, i was taking just the updates while in ward. Then after first innings, i heard my colleagues saying that India conceded 30-40 runs extra. After start of 2nd innings, people had gone mad as India lost Sehwag unexpectedly early. I went to have my dinner in the mess by that time (no hotel agreed to give food delivery that evening). Sachin was playing extremely well until in a brain-fade he edged a Malinga delivery. There was absolute pin-drop silence in the canteen (even this deep silence is usually not observed in medical exams also!). Everyone had missed at least couple of heart beats that time. I had to leave canteen as others left in dismay. Then I lost contacts with canteen & heard people roar whenever someone hit a boundary. Late in the innings, i heard friends saying India is going to win. I could not catch up the moments as the OP patient was getting little unstable. Then came the orgasmic uproar from the crowd in canteen heard all over the big general hospital building. Even my OP patient also smiled.

From 3pm till 1am next morning I had no admissions. Then came the real part of it. I got first call from casualty about a elderly lady with myocardial infarction (MI). I went to ICU to receive her. As soon as she was taken there & was planned for thrombolysis, another lady was rushed in with MI. The second lady was taken to bed just before she had cardiac arrest. I resuscitated her without success. I declared her dead and then got a call from casualty for another lady with MI.

As that was the last vacant bed in ICU, i took the body on a trolley to make vacancy for new patient. She also had the same fate, needed CPR in just 5 minutes of arrival. This continued for 4 more times, with elderly ladies presenting with MI & needing CPR then being shifted to trolleys to make room for next one! I had 8 admissions from 1am to 6am. But I had filled in 6 death certificates in just 5 hours. The nursing station was in utter chaos with all certificates waiting to get all mixed up, but trained (!) sisters handled it quite well. Next day, prof came & saw only 5 new patients, but 11 admissions!

The most interesting fact was that all these ladies started having chest pains just as Sachin edged Malinga. Some families "chose" to wait till match was over, others had no vehicle. When all of them left with their vehicles after the match, they were stuck up in traffic... People celebrated on roads as I was going through the cycle of patient reception, CPR, death certi & shifting body to the trolley to make room for new ones. Six times...

Who says only Kulasekara got a big six in the final... Vipul Chakurkar had it too.