Time was ticking and I was unable to find the left kidney on a routine scan. Finally, I gave up and asked the patient for any previous history of any surgical removal or investigations suggesting absent kidney since birth. To my disbelief the patient pulled out a FAT file containing previous reports, which included a long list starting from a USG scan to x rays to nuclear scan, no need of mentioning the blood and urine investigations. All for one previous scan, which reported the size of the(non existing) left kidney and Viola!!! a calculus(stone) measuring 2.0 cm within it. Believe me, I lost all my conserved energies to rationalize and explain the things to the patient. That’s what I call loosing over a lost(absent) kidney. Finally convinced, the patient asked meekly what about the stone!!!!
Every month, I wonder how much paper is wasted just to abide by the PNDT(Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques) Act. Briefly, let me explain what this act basically means. It came into force in 1994 and main focus was to prevent misuse of diagnostic tools like USG and other lab investigations to confirm the sex of the growing baby during pregnancy and thereby reduce female foeticide Abortion). Kudos to bring in this bold act under which any doctor / geneticist and also the person who asks for it will be punished if they ask/reveal the sex. So how to implement this act? Here’s the problem. For every pregnancy scan we have to fill up a form about the details of the patient( Name, age, sex, address blah blah blah). Next we have to fill in the details of previous pregnancies. On this form the patient and the doctor have to sign stating neither of the parties have asked / revealed the sex of the growing fetus. Then you have to pin it to the referring doctor’s requisition(Photocopy if patient wants to keep the original). These forms have to be filed and details to be entered into a log book. Finally the original forms have to be submitted in the first week of every month after taking a photocopy for our records at the nearest Govt health officer and get duly attested. Imagine the amount of papers piling up at these offices and at the diagnostic centres and hospitals!!. Above all, will submission of forms really serve the purpose the act was designed for? India would have done wonders if that was true. Environmental Disaster to prevent a Biological Disaster since only in Hyderabad there are thousands of ultrasound machines and everyday thousands of pregnancy scans are done. Added to that an average of three scans are done in each pregnancy!!!! I strongly believe this can be simplified by electronic maintainance and submission of details mentioned above. PREVENT FEMALE FOETICIDE AND ALSO ENVIRONMENTAL GENOCIDE. GO ELECTRONIC.