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Friday, November 13, 2009

4 for the price of 1.

Scheduled for a lap. sleeve gastrectomy, a patient of ours was given accomodation in day care wards which is basically 4 beds in a room, fair enough for day care where you expect to leave the hospital in a day. The reason for this was that the class he had opted for which was a single room was full and so were the deluxe rooms. He was told that as soon as the room becomes available he would be shifted there. It is now his 3rd day in the hospital and he still lies in the 4 in 1 room. As luck would have it, his bunk mates consisted of the following:

The first came for a minor surgery and left the same evening.

The second was in for his chemotherapy. His relatives decided to wait with him till the chemo injections had run in. This was to be till 2 am which led to them watching tv till then to keep awake thereby keeping our patient awake as well.

Just when he thought it was finally done, in comes number three who had arrived from Iraq at 4.30 am and brought with him a bunch of relatives all speaking in arabic with their volume louder than the tv could possibly go. Our patient did not sleep very well.

The first thing he said to us this morning was not about his discomfort from the surgery he had yesterday, nor was it that he was hungry or thirsty (he was nil by mouth) neither did he say anything about the machine compressing his calves. All he wanted was to change his room. One that he had paid for. One that cost almost double. One that was not available when he got admitted. One that is not even available now as I write this.

The most innocent but relevant question was asked by his wife: If the room we wanted wasn't available, could we not have postponed the case? Could we not have waited till that class became available before admitting him and lastly could we not have discharged him if he didn't get the room he wanted?

I guess we all know that answer to that but I won't write it just yet!

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