Great Doctor Ling Ran Chapter 96
96 Can He Make It?
Oyster Sensation, located at the street food alley, was a barbecue restaurant that primarily focuses on serving seafood. Fresh oysters directly transported from Zhanjiang were the main attraction. Every evening, those fresh oysters would be moved to the side of the road. Store owners would open the oysters up as they bellowed at the top of their lungs. Tables and chairs would slowly fill the entire pedestrian walk so that the store could expand their business.
Today's situation was slightly unique.
A few tables that were originally placed on the sidewalk had been combined together. Doctor Zhou had his feet on a stool as he sat on a table. His own clothes had been used as a substitute for cushions. The doctor had his hands pressing down on the injured teenager's stomach.
The blood did not seem to show any signs of stopping. It continued to flow out slowly and steadily from the teenager's stomach, staining the doctor's clothing crimson. That blood went on to trickle down the table before dripping on the stool and wetting the ground.
Doctor Zhou was getting nervous. Every once in a while, he would turn around and ask the same question. "Where is the ambulance? Tell them that the wounded is suffering from severe internal bleeding..."
The store owner was annoyed and frustrated. His answer was the almost the same every time he answered Doctor Zhou.
"The ambulance is caught up in traffic. They said they are arriving soon."
Doctor Zhou was both furious and resigned. He might be saving someone's life right now, but he was indeed disrupting the store owner's business. The store owner had not said much about it, and was even cooperating. If anything, he was only annoyed and sometimes showed his displeasure by pulling an angry face. It was nothing much in the scope of everything else, really.
Dong Jinwu was only sixteen. He was not particularly disturbed by his predicament. He even advised the doctor, "It's nothing, don't worry. It's just a single stab wound. I've seen people walking away from multiple stabs. No biggie. Docs stitch 'em up, and they'll walk out the hospital in a couple of days."
"I 'am' a doctor." Doctor Zhou gritted his teeth. He wanted nothing more than to get into the technicality of how knife wounds could vary like heaven and earth. 'If a person were to be stabbed in the colon at the right upper portion of the abdomen, that person could still make the trip to the hospital alive, even though the wound itself would put that person in critical condition. If a person were to be stabbed in the large intestine, the faeces would contaminate the abdominal cavity and cover the greater omentum, and it would be most unpleasant; but at least that person could still live. But now? Who the f*ck knew where this teenager was stabbed and how? I can only be certain that no arteries have been severed, but with blood flowing like this, they might as well be.'
Unfortunately, Doctor Zhou could not explain that to the teenager.
If he explained it clearly, the teenager would have given up on life immediately, even if he was not scared to death.
Ignorance may at least grant him life for a few more minutes.
"Hey, doctor, you should just have him press on the wound himself. Help us out with some bandaging." The young man snatched a chair and sat down with his arm folded in front of his chest as he called out to Doctor Zhou.
Doctor Zhou did not have to turn his head to know who was speaking. He replied coldly, "I have seen your wounds, but I can't bandage you now. If I ease pressure now, things could go really wrong."
He had to say the last sentence, because if he did not, he was afraid that someone would forcefully pull him away.
"Hey, hey, hey, if this bleeding causes me problems in the future, I'm coming after you." The young man was as unconcerned as ever, not even forgetting to ask for sips of beer from the people around him.
Doctor Zhou was actually worried by that line. What if this guy came to him and caused him trouble in the future?
Strictly speaking, he was now illegally practicing medicine, for a doctor's medical license was only valid in registered hospitals. According to current law, medical treatment was not permissible outside hospitals.
Regular folk would not be too bothered about this, but hospitals or health bureaus would not necessarily let this slide.
By then, people would accuse you by raising banners and yelling through loudspeakers in public demonstrations. The leaders in the hospital would not care if a doctor had saved a life. If anything, they would admonish that doctor before taking away the right for his or her to get any form of appraisal that year for bonuses or promotions
It was not all that bad. At worst, he would have to wait for two years to get his or her appraisal and forever have a lower salary that his or her cohorts
Doctor Zhou's heart was now incredibly frustrated. Trouble often found its way to the Shao family's restaurant, but the patients were more understanding. On top of that, Boss Shao was most often the source of the emergency, and the doctor-patient relationship between them and Boss Shao was pretty good.
Boss Shao was a kind-hearted man and possessed a silver tongue. Doctors did not even need to consult his medical records. The chief physicians would see his face and greet, "Ah, back again, old Shao?"
Doctor Zhou had been in the Emergency Department for many years. He would smile whenever he met old patients like Boss Shao. It was the young ones who got on his nerves. They always made him feel that he had a great amount of responsibility resting on his shoulders. Yet modern medicine would not become better just because the doctors felt more responsible for them. There were always some of those who were sent to the Emergency Department who would suffer from unexpected injuries or even die.
Doctor Zhou looked down at the teenager who was slowly becoming weaker. He frantically asked, "Has Doctor Ling been found yet? Do we have the first aid kit yet?"
He was not a very flexible doctor, nor did he know how to use daily necessities to perform first aid
Dong Jinwu was losing consciousness because of the blood loss. Doctor Zhou's cries seemed to stir him momentarily. He mumbled, "The last time my older brother was hospitalized, people sent him some oranges. We tried to eat them, but we were chased out before we could finish..."
Doctor Zhou pressed hard on the wound with one hand, and then touched the boy's pulse with the other. He finally made up his mind and said, "He's not going to make it. Boss, give me the chef's knife."
"Hey, is everything alright?" The owner of Oyster Sensation was a fat man in a black shirt and wore a string of Star Moon Bodhi  beads in an attempt to cover his bulging belly. He did not think much of it and passed over a basin which contained precisely what Doctor Zhou had just asked him to prepare: two bottles of wine, a polished fish knife, and two white towels.
Doctor Zhou forced out a hum. 'How can everything be alright?'
With the current equipment available for him, if he did not carry out a laparotomy, then all was well. But if he really went ahead and carried out a laparotomy, he could really get himself into trouble.
If Dong Jinwu's family was a reasonable lot and were not the type to cause any havoc or trouble, maybe they could let him off the hook. Otherwise, even if he did not come out of the encounter dead, he would still be skinned alive.
If there were other options, Doctor Zhou would definitely choose them. He did not wish to cause any trouble...
However, the window of time available to make a decision was quickly closing.
"Disinfect. Boss, unscrew the wine." Doctor Zhou was still pressing down on the wound.
The boss hummed in acknowledgement. He grabbed a bottle of Luzhou Laojiao  with his fat fingers and unscrewed it. "The price of two bottles of wine is more than a hundred RMB. It's on me. Don't say that I, old Xue, did not do anything and let him die. This is the best I can do."
Doctor Zhou nodded, made up his mind, and took a deep breath. He said, "Boss Xue, you're chivalric, we just need to do our best in these sort of situations."
As he was speaking, Doctor Zhou slowly laid Dong Jinwu flat on the table, picked up the bottle of Luzhou Laojiao, and poured it down on the wound.
The fragrance of the wine wafted into the air.
It also caused the crowd nearby who were holding their plates and skewers to twitch their noses.
A woman who had already recorded many videos quickly changed her position and started to take a new video.
Doctor Zhou could only pretend to not notice her actions.
Having worked in the Emergency Department for so many years, he had long learned how to live under the watchful eyes of the family and the camera, much less a person who loved recording things to share to her friend circle.
After a bottle of white wine was emptied, Doctor Zhou spoke again, "Boss Xue, sorry for the trouble, but please open another bottle of wine."
"Okay." Boss Xue tugged the dangling beads in front of his chest to the back before he opened the bottle.
Doctor Zhou was just about to pour the alcohol when heard Ling Ran shouting at him, "Wait, leave some for me to wash my hands."
Upon hearing this voice, Doctor Zhou, who had forced himself to remain calm for the longest time could finally relax. He felt as if he had just injected himself a tube of Skelaxin (muscle relaxant).
TV dramas often had many scenes of the doctors performing treatment outside the hospital easily, but that was not the case in real life. In reality, doctors always encountered various problems even when they were in the hospital, and they would have no choice but to ask for the help of second-string doctors. And if second-string doctors ran into problems they could not solve while they were on duty, they would call third-string doctors If there was a choice, which idiot would call their superior at two o'clock in the middle of the night, tell him a piece of bad news, and ask him to come to work as soon as possible?
Hence, compared to Ling Ran's barehanded bleeding control, which had shown that it was pretty reliable the last time he used it, it would be very problematic and dangerous if Doctor Zhou performed an exploratory laparotomy on the street.
"Bring him over here." Ling Ran's voice rang loud and clear. Ensuing that was the sound of the flatbed cart, as well as more onlookers as well as the people who were recording everything to share to their friends.
The flatbed cart was a cart commonly seen at the street food alley. Shop owners would often use it to transport dishes and garbage.
The masses were common people often seen at the street food alley and the shopkeepers who often relied on them to buy their food and make money.
Those recording videos were regulars of the street food alley. Fully aware of that, the shop owners often used them to take photographs, promote their business, and increase their revenue.
Boss Xue looked at the scene that was several times livelier than usual before he stared at the rarely seen, bloody sight on his table. Finally, his eyes moved up to Ling Ran's face, and an idea sprang up in his mind.
"Go take some advertising posters from the store and paste them around. Put up as many of them as you can," Boss Xue shouted and rushed into the store himself. He grabbed a pennant that read "Oyster Sensation," held it with both hands, ran behind Doctor Zhou, and with both of his eyes gleaming and staring at the people recording the scene, he held the flag aloft, ensuring that it was well within the view of the camera lenses.
"What's the situation here?" With the help of two helpful and enthusiastic members of the crowd, Doctor Zhou finally set the almost unconscious Dong Jinwu down on the flatbed cart.
"Spleen, suspected of a true rupture," Ling Ran said.
Among the three types of splenic rupture, a true rupture could be said to be the most mortal and life-threatening one. In many cases, the patient would die before he even made it to the hospital, while others would be deep in catatonic shock.
Doctor Zhou was speechless, "Can he make it?"
The unconscious policeman struggled to open his eyes and committed Doctor Zhou's face to memory.
Star Moon Bodhi: a type of Buddhist prayer beads, a traditional tool used to count the number of times a mantra is recited, breaths while meditating, counting prostrations, or the repetitions of a Buddha's name.
Luzhou Laojiao: a famous Chinese liquor brewed from fermented sorghum.