Conference Proceeding

Excluded from Hope: The Tragic Story of a Young Man With “Very Short Bowel” Syndrome

Dr. Irene Christodoulou,
Surgical Department, G. Papanikolaou Hospital, Greece

Irene Christodoulou is a Consultant in General Surgery at G.PAPANIKOLAOU HOSPITAL, THESSALONIKI, GREECE, B' SURGICAL DEPARTMENT, Greece. She is the 1ST Prize winner for the Best Poster in the Panhellenic Congress of Laparoscopic Surgery, Ioannina, Greece. She has done MD from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki MD, Medical School in 1994. She is a member of Hellenic Society of Surgery, Hellenic Society of Breast Surgery, International Society of Surgery, European Society for the Study of Liver, International Society of HPB Surgery.

Aim of this study is to present the extraordinary case of a 45-year old man with very short bowel syndrome, who is currently engaged in a long hospitalization module of life because of the constant need for parenteral nutrition which he has developed due to Crohn’s disease treatments.
Presentation of the case: A Russian young man, with low education, borderline intellectual functioning and low socioeconomic status, was operated numerous times due to breakouts of Crohn’s Disease. For the last one year he stays mostly in the Hospital, while he had to stay for about nine months in the Hospital only. Practically he needs constant intravenous parenteral nutrition due to his very short bowel syndrome, otherwise he cannot live outside the Hospital. The application made to national insurance bodies for receiving pharmaceutical help for bowel regeneration was rejected as been improperly set up. His surgeon did not make any move to announce the case with official documents asking for bowel transplantation outside Greece, with national expenses (as case in great need ) because he assumes that the patient’s unsolved problem is not his fault and thus he should not be stigmatized in his Hospital and further in the Ministry of Health Leadership. Finally, neither the patient himself nor his wife and relatives asked for help from supervisory bodies of the National Health System, because they are probably afraid of losing the long hospitalization chances they have. Numerous residents of surgery deal with this patient for months without even been aware of what should have been done! This is something like loss of contact with reality or revival of the past in Medicine! The patient is a sorrowful icon inside the Hospital. Furthermore, not even one cared to ask (including the supervisor bodies) for the very long hospitalization patient(s). I should emphasize that Greece is poorer than ever right now.
Conclusion: This case is very much intriguing for health policy makers and transplantation awareness investigators, because if transplantation surgery is an obligation for some cases, this person is one of them. But there is no hope for a young person, and the most tragic part of his story is that he has carefully been advised to visit public Transplantation Surgery Departments for finding support for his survival prospects and he has done absolutely nothing. The most scandalous part however is that numerous residents of surgery are not aware that they treat a patient who needs transplantation!

Published: 28 April 2017