25 July 2010

Tonsillectomy without anesthesia in Belarus

I've been debating whether to post this, because it will distress many viewers, so as I did with the last potentially offensive video, I'll embed it at the bottom of the post after these cautionary statements.

The video shows the tonsils being removed from a child, apparently in Belarus.  No anesthesia is used.  The child is restrained and under considerable emotional stress.  The medical staff are not speaking harshly or being intentionally cruel.  The procedure itself takes about one minute.  It is bloody.

This will be disturbing to some viewers.  On the other hand, this is real life.  This is how things are done in some parts of the world.  This is how this (and similar or worse) procedures were done in antiquity.

Remember the old adage: "what has been seen cannot be unseen" - then make your decision.

Addendum: Ninabi notes "...from airing this sad, scary video in Ireland, funds were raised for an anesthetic machine for this hospital."

18 comments:

  1. Thank you for the warning. Normally I can't look away from that kind of stuff, but since I have young kids, I just can't bring myself to look. If it was an adult I probably could... but I'll just have to take your word on this one.

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  2. Thanks for the heads up. There was a scene in a Dutch film called "Een Vlucht van Regenwulpen" whereby the main character - a child - has his mouth held open and tonsils cauterised without anaesthesia. It was harrowing to watch.
    So, nope, I'm not watching this clip. I'm feeling a bit wobbly and sad anyway and this would probably push me over the edge!

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  3. I thought of Roald Dahl's autobiographical book, Boy. He had his adenoids removed without anesthesia as a little boy- his description was chilling.

    I read more about this situation in Belarus- from airing this sad, scary video in Ireland, funds were raised for an anesthetic machine for this hospital.

    Having had my own tonsils out when I was nine, I cannot imagine the agony of this little boy. There was pain- but also there must have been a sense of betrayal by the adults around him. Telling him he didn't need to cry while tying his arms and legs down- I think if I were that little boy I would be avoiding doctors for the rest of my life.

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  4. I have undergone a similar operation, when I was growing up in eastern Europe. My adenoids were removed without anaesthesia. Although I wasn't blindfolded and tied down, it was very painful and bloody and I am still scared when I run into the doctor who performed it! Watching the video made me realize how difficult it must have been for my parents to watch me go through it.

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  5. I think of the kids (and dad) getting their tonsils out in "Cheaper By the Dozen". A link to the chapter is here:
    http://books.google.com/books?id=EzAE6cte3_QC&lpg=PA84&ots=6UJ3mOigVK&dq=%22cheaper%20by%20the%20dozen%22%20tonsils&pg=PA84#v=onepage&q=%22cheaper%20by%20the%20dozen%22%20tonsils&f=false

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  6. Thanks, Mike. I didn't know they used to have "inside lens caps," but I guess it makes sense.

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  7. I didnt watch the video because its not up anymore but I had this same procedure done when I was 8 with no anesthesia. It was also done in Belarus. Wasn't that bad.:|

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the heads-up re the dead video, anon. I found another copy on YouTube and have embedded it.

      Maybe it's you in this video...

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    2. How is this boy doing now?

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    3. Whoever wrote that it wasn't that bad when they had this procedure done is soo full of shit, its excrutiatingly painful and traumatic for these kids, and by the way they perform anything up to 12 procedures a day on these kids, who are all orphans because no parent would stand by and watch that happen to their child.

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  8. My son (he's 11 years old) and I came across this video while searching for children in Chernobyl, and it was very disturbing to watch. It was really heartbreaking to watch! My son felt really sad and began crying just thinking about his pain, he wanted to know how that little boy is doing now? Does anyone know how we might find out how that little boy is at present?

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    1. I doubt that you will be able to find any information about that specific boy, but I would say the odds are over 98% that he's doing fine. Pain is unpleasant to experience (or watch), but it's brief; he was probably reasonably comfortable later that same day and doing fine now, happy to have his tonsils out.

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  9. I had the same procedure done to me when I was six years old back when I lived in Russia. I can still remember it.... Although it did not stop me from going to med school.

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  10. This is inexcusably horrible, they say they have no money to anesthesia, if no conditions to general anesthesia, that's not excuse to why at least not use a oral anesthetic spray (of novocaine or similar)and some pacifier + analgesic medicine to let the kids less aware of it, with less pain, less distressed and without the problems of general anesthesia out of surgery live support room. Certainly at least for that if they were really interested can fight for some piety soul should found some novocaine sprays and medicines. This is live butchery over a helpless child this is haurfull thing without any excuse just comparable to war time surgery. PLEASE STOP DOING THIS! If you have no ideal conditions that's not one excuse to not use some available conditions. You neither care in this conditions if kid accidentally close the mouth you can make him a live fretting hound... Please I hope: 1st that be true they already not doing this this way and be true money had been get to them get conditions as written. 2nd that the person that had say he go trough this and had not been stopped go to med. School because of it never do himself a thing like this to others, specially helpless child! PLEASE HAVE SOME HEARTH-FEELINGS!!!

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  11. My wife had her tonsils removed with no anesthesia when she was a teenager in Vietnam (mid 1980's). She remembers the procedure was done using spoon with the edges sharpened, and the bowlfuls of blood she spit afterwards. The doctor in her town did thousands of tonsil removal surgeries for many decades, up until one day (also mid 1980's) the daughter of a high-up communist official died right there in his operating room immediately after the surgery from massive blood loss. The government was going to put the doctor in jail for 3 years, but he ran away to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) before he was arrested. I wasn't there, so I don't know the situation surrounding the whole matter; but obviously the doctor lacked the proper tools to do the job, but the job still needed to be done, as would most likely be the case in many developing countries.

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  12. I watched this video on youtube a few nights ago and have been struggling to get through a day without thinking about that boy getting butchered like that. I just cant get it out of my head and keep crying constantly as it was so shocking to watch. It has bothered me so much that I emailed the cherylnobel childrens charity too ask if they are still carrying this barbaric treatment out. I am never going to be able to forget what I watched it was the most horrific thing I've ever seen.

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  13. Believe me I find this terrible, my sister had to go through this procedure with my brother but they were NOT blindfolded so they saw everything! she says that its the most horrific and scard moment of her life, this all occured in lithuania btw. but it is not done for low budget of drugs, its because it is healthier to do it without.

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