Many times a doctor must give bad news and warnings to patients. Today, many good things have happened in the field of medicine. Before, doctors dreaded facing worried parents with a sick child-maybe the child had tuberculous meningitis;a severe case of ebola hemorrhagic fever; tetanus (lockjaw);a congenital heart problem (secundum atrial septal defect, a serious defect in the heart at birth); or some other illness which spelled almost certain death, at that time. But now, routine BCG vaccination in infancy has nearly eliminated tuberculous meningitis; tetanus vaccination entirely prevents lockjaw; we can handle hemorrhagic fever and associated shock, or prevent the disease by controlling mosquitoes; and cardiac surgery can mend heart defects.
Speaking of tuberculosis, there once was a whole hospital floor especially for these patients, but now nearly every case can be treated as an outpatient with excellent curative drugs. Pathophysiology of typhoid fever complications used to take their toll. The first case of a patient suffering from perforated typhoid bowel with peritonitis in one hospital covered with antibiotic treatment. Previously, 100 percent of these complicated typhoid cases died. Antibiotics have saved innumerable lives, and new drugs are coming on the market every year.
Cancer of the esophagus, which is common here in the Far East was once considered inoperable. But now cures in the early cases are possible when surgery and radiation treatment are combined. Certain kinds of lymph node (gland) cancer can be cured with a combination of chemicals and X-ray treatments. Yes, medicine has come a long way, and today we can offer hope for many previously hopeless cases.