I've been designated the GSWD a.k.a the gun-shot wound doctor in HTI. Why does a harmless-looking, little me deserve such a bombastic acronym? Let me elucidate further..
I am working in teluk intan. This is just a small-town population of a less than 20,000 people, besides some illegal foreign workers and a handful of transported townies like me. Crime is mostly petty..other than the fact that three health care personnel including one doctor (a good friend of mine) has lost their cars in the hospital compounds. Yeah, Grand Theft Auto aside, this is a pretty harmless town. The demographics consist of either people grappling with 20-30 types of medical tablets to take per day or schoolchildren hardly out of puberty.
So imagine that out of all the surgical medical officers in my department, I am the only one frequently receiving referrals from the casualty for gun-shot injuries. It's like when I am holding the pager, the people here suddenly goes ballistics and started to shoot one another..you know, like deadwood or unforgiven..like in a wild wild west nightmare. It's not as dramatic as in frontier towns (i bet doctors in Sandakan, etc do receive more exciting gunshot cases) or major cities like downtown Detroit (New York City) or Chicago.
In short, I am still the only one receiving this kind of 'dramatic' cases. For example, I was happily doing my rounds when I was summoned to the casualty to see a guy shot in his buttocks with shot-gun while he was attempting to trespass into a farmer's house. His entire rear end was littered with bullet marks, the last count was about 50 roundish wounds and yet fortunately for him, he didn't lose any part of his body as the bullets has dispersed and it was mostly shattered pellets. The next day, his story appeared in the Star but no mention of the cute doctor that attended. Ahh..never mind.
The next round was slightly more exciting. It was in the middle of the night when I was called to the resuscitation room. A young man was groaning in pain and surrounded by armed officials. I was a bit flustered as everyone looked so big and angry compared to this little thing but as usual, I brushed my fears aside and entered in with as much of 'doctor' air that I could muster.
The young man was involved in a few big burglaries recently and the police was giving him a road chase when they managed to corner his car. His partner and the patient ran out and refused to stop despite the police giving them warnings. Some shots were fired and the man got injured. As usual, I was anticipating some huge injury but again I just found some bullets entering and exiting the man's lower back with no major organs injured. I have to say that the guy was fortunate enough to 'escape' with just minimal debridement from the hands of yours truly. I think he could be still alive and well serving his time.. Again, the story appeared in the papers but the heroine of the day wasn't mention..well, being anonymous can be a good thing after all :-)
The most recent case was during the elections. There was an influential gentleman who was shot outside his house and as I was walking to work, I saw a huge crowd in front of the casualty. As I am a nosy young lady, I poked my face into the resus room and again I saw a patient who was needing my consultation. As I was about to start my call for that day, I saw it fit that I handle this case quickly. I found out that this guy has a few major bullet entry wounds in his abdomen and limbs. Mr A was very alert but in pain. As he is very well-nourished, I cannot comment on whether the bullet remained in the muscle of the abdomen or it has actually penetrated into the deeper organs.
So we immediately rushed the patient into the operating theatre, expecting the worse. Fortunately for him again, he is very well-endowed in the middle torso and the bullets were lodged in the abdominal wall without injuring any internal organs. He recovered well and discharged back home. Last I heard of him was that he is still very active, especially politically.
In short, this GSWD had her fair share of projectiles in a small, supposedly-peaceful town and I still hope for more interesting cases to arrive during my call. IMHO, an adrenaline-driven life is much better than a boring one indeed!!