Some years back, Bangalore achieved the dubious distinction of being the capital of clandestine kidney transplants. New and stricter regulations have made the procedure more transparent now. Those days the kidneys were procured for a price from poor donors. Slumlords were known to even coerce people to donate their kidneys for a commission. There was a lot of hue and cry in the press and surgeons too came in for a fair bit of justified criticism. There were widespread rumors of kidneys being removed from ignorant poor who got admitted for some other reason. This was the atmosphere prevailing then in the city, when this incident occurred in one of the hospitals. The patient was admitted for a minor procedure of draining an abscess [collection of pus].This was being done under local anesthesia in which the patient is conscious but doesn’t feel the pain in the place of operation. The surgeon after giving the local anesthetic proceeded to incise the abscess. No sooner he inserted the knife, a stream of pus welled out of the cut. To prevent spillage, he told the nurse with some urgency,’ quick, get me the kidney tray.’ The horrified patient jumped and ran out of the room. It took the combined might of three attendants and the surgeon to convince the patient that kidney tray is the name for the receptacle and it is not a tray to hold the kidney and to get him back to complete the procedure.
The word went round to all Bangalore hospitals not to mention the dreaded word in front of conscious patients undergoing procedures!