Tuesday November 13, 2018

Tips That Will Help In Recovery From Surgery

The instructions given are not to torment you and the risks explained are not to scare you

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Doctor performing a surgery. Pixabay
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  • Recovery from surgeries can be tough
  • There is a lot of care that one needs after a surgery
  • There are some certain ways of taking care after surgery which are more effective than the others

Have you recently gone through the unpleasant but necessary process of Surgery? Are you one of those went through the painful process of being under the knife multiple times? It is definitely a process that no matter how many times you are explained of the benefits, the possibility of the risks during and after the process dances before your eyes, more than the benefits.

It is important to get involved in one's own healthcare. Samecondition
It is important to get involved in one’s own healthcare. Samecondition

Even though the period starting from the pre-operative to the recovery phase is specified and measurable in most of the cases, it might still seem like an indefinite period of suffering. Even though the patient is supported by the love and care of his dear ones and the healthcare providers, the agony of the process in its entirety is borne and understood by only by the patient.

Of course, the anxiety of the procedure is shared by even those within the medical field, who understand and can anticipate it well in advance. Your pain is your own. And it does not spare anyone.

But like Gautam Buddha quoted, ‘Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional’. One option is to prepare yourself to go through the pain, but it is wiser to follow some simple rules to free yourself from enduring the moments of agony and confusion.

Preoperative Care
Most of us spend every waking moment of the pre-operative period wondering the consequences of the surgery, be it a complicated procedure or a simple one. Every hospital has its own protocol for educating the patients about the procedure. Some of the medical staff explain them personally while some send written instructions. There are some others who are much more cautious and do both. But, not in all cases, the information is imbibed in the patients to the fullest. It is lost in the web of anxiety spun within the patient’s mind.

ALso Read: How weight-loss surgery can avoid death

Even with all the efforts taken by your healthcare provider, if the purpose of the mission is lost, it is unfair to blame anyone. But, there is a way to avoid the situation. If the surgery is a pre-planned procedure, always approach your consultant, well in advance, before the day of the surgery, to clear your mind of some of those doubts that have clouded your ability to stay untroubled. Do not willingly withhold any medical history, known to you, about you. It is for the safety and well-being of the provider as well your own self. Make sure you arrive at the hospital early to complete your paperwork and do not procrastinate in this regard. The hassles of filling up the paperwork can amplify your stress levels. Do not ignore any symptom that you might have before the procedure. In your estimation, it might only be a slight fever or a rash, but for the success of the surgery, it is a huge detrimental factor. Report to your consultant immediately.

You might now be wondering that these might sound good enough for a preplanned, non-emergent surgery, but what about the emergency surgeries. As a member of the medical fraternity, I would suggest you stay calm and trust your provider. If you are still strong enough to converse, do ask and clear yourself of any doubts and hesitations regarding the procedure about to be performed. The community always holds the best interests for their patients.

Pre-operative care is one of the most important things to be taken care of. Pixabay
Pre-operative care is one of the most important things to be taken care of. Pixabay

Postoperative care
Once the procedure is completed, then comes the phase of post-operative recovery. All is well that ends well and that end is not signaled at the end of the surgery but only after the successful sailing through the post-operative period. The period of post-operative care does not end with your stay at the hospital but continues well after your discharge. Although every effort is made by your provider, there might still be pain, once the anesthesia starts to wear off. The reactions of the human body to the medications is not always universal. Every patient requires a certain level of customization of care, due to the very fact that no one person is entirely like another. Their threshold levels do differ. It is hence safer to assume that you might not have the same symptoms as your neighbors.

Also Read: Eating Yogurt May Reduce Risk Of Heart Diseases

Most of the procedures, do require a certain amount of effort to be invested, also by the patients in the post-operative period. It might be as simple as being cent percent complaint to the consumption of medications or performing the stipulated exercises in physiotherapy. Never fail to follow your Doctor’s instructions to the dot. Deviations can well cost you much more than you can recognize. Appropriate and “advised” postoperative care, is the only way you can make a complete and satisfying recovery.

It is important to take care after surgery. Wikimedia Commons
It is important to take care after surgery. Wikimedia Commons

There are some who take multiple consultations. It is alright to double check, cross-check with other consultants, but before the procedure. It is advisable to follow the instructions of your consultant after the procedure, to avoid confusions. Remember, you always receive some degree of tailored care. Your consultant knows more about what has been done. If in doubt, always report back to your consultant.

You have the right to enjoy good health. It does not matter if the right is entitled via your constitution or not. And the right can be made a reality partly by the effort of your healthcare provider and partly by you. The instructions given are not to torment you and the risks explained are not to scare you. If in doubt, always approach your Physician. Never leave aside those nagging doubts “for later”. It is wise to take an informed decision and to accomplish that, the ideal behavior as a patient would be to engage with your Physician in your treatment.

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Hospitals Worldwide Detain Patients If They Cant Pay The Bill

Earlier this month, the High Court ruled again that imprisoning patients “is not one of the acceptable avenues [for hospitals] to recover debt.

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Margaret Oliele, a former detained patient, poses for a portrait in her home in Nairobi, Kenya. VOA

Doctors at Nairobi’s Kenyatta National Hospital have told Robert Wanyonyi there’s nothing more they can do for him. Yet more than a year after he first arrived, shot and paralyzed in a robbery, the ex-shopkeeper remains trapped in the hospital.

Because Wanyonyi cannot pay his bill of nearly 4 million Kenyan shillings ($39,570), administrators are refusing to let him leave his fourth-floor bed.

At Kenyatta National Hospital and at an astonishing number of hospitals around the world, if you don’t pay up, you don’t go home.

The hospitals often illegally detain patients long after they should be medically discharged, using armed guards, locked doors and even chains to hold those who have not settled their accounts. Even death does not guarantee release: Kenyan hospitals and morgues are holding hundreds of bodies until families can pay their loved ones’ bills, government officials say.

An Associated Press investigation has found evidence of hospital imprisonments in more than 30 countries worldwide, according to hospital records, patient lists and interviews with dozens of doctors, nurses, health academics, patients and administrators. The detentions were found in countries including the Philippines, India, China, Thailand, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Bolivia and Iran. Of more than 20 hospitals visited by the AP in Congo, only one did not detain patients.

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A relative adjusts the oxygen mask of a tuberculosis patient at a TB hospital on World Tuberculosis Day in Hyderabad, India. VOA

Millions possibly affected

“What’s striking about this issue is that the more we look for this, the more we find it,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute. “It’s probably hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people that this affects worldwide.”

During several August visits to Kenyatta National Hospital — a major medical institution designated a Center of Excellence by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — the AP witnessed armed guards in military fatigues standing watch over patients. Detainees slept on bedsheets on the floor in cordoned-off rooms. Guards prevented one worried father from seeing his detained toddler.

Kenya’s ministry of health and Kenyatta canceled several scheduled interviews with the AP and declined to respond to repeated requests for comment.

Health experts decry hospital imprisonment as a human rights violation. Yet the United Nations, U.S. and international health agencies, donors and charities have all remained silent while pumping billions of dollars into these countries to support their splintered health systems or to fight outbreaks of diseases including AIDS and malaria.

“People know patients are being held prisoner, but they probably think they have bigger battles in public health to fight, so they just have to let this go,” said Sophie Harman, a global health expert at Queen Mary University of London.

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Detained patients lie on beds in the Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya. VOA

Hospitals often acknowledge detaining patients isn’t profitable, but many say it can sometimes result in a partial payment and serves as a deterrent.

‘A way to conduct business’

Festus Njuguna, an oncologist at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret, about 300 kilometers northwest of Nairobi, said the institution regularly detains children with cancer who have finished their treatment, but whose parents cannot pay.

“It’s not a very good feeling for the doctors and nurses who have treated these patients, to see them kept like this,” Njuguna said.

Still, many officials openly defend the practice.

“We can’t just let people leave if they don’t pay,” said Leedy Nyembo-Mugalu, administrator of Congo’s Katuba Reference Hospital. He said holding patients wasn’t an issue of human rights, but simply a way to conduct business: “No one ever comes back to pay their bill a month or two later.”

hospitals
FILE – A Yemeni woman suspected of being infected with cholera receives treatment at a hospital in the capital Sanaa. VOA

Global health agencies and companies that operate where patients are held hostage often have very little to say about it.

The CDC provides about $1.5 million every year to Kenyatta National Hospital and Pumwani Maternity Hospital, helping to cover treatment costs for patients with HIV and tuberculosis, among other programs. The CDC declined to comment on whether it was aware that patients were regularly detained at the two hospitals or if it condones the practice.

Dr. Agnes Soucat of the World Health Organization said it does not support patient detentions, but has been unable to document where it happens. And while the WHO has issued hundreds of health recommendations on issues from AIDS to Zika virus, the agency has never published any guidance advising countries not to imprison people in their hospitals.

‘Cruel, inhuman and degrading’

Many Kenyan human rights advocates lament that hospitals continue to hold patients despite what was seen as a landmark judgment in 2015.

Back then, the High Court ruled that the detention of two women at Pumwani who couldn’t pay their delivery fees — Maimuna Omuya and Margaret Oliele — was “cruel, inhuman and degrading.” Omuya and her newborn were held for almost a month next to a flooded toilet while Oliele was handcuffed to her bed after trying to escape.

Cholera, hospitals
A doctor gestures outside a hospital in the Algerian town of Boufarik, as the country faces a cholera outbreak. VOA

Earlier this month, the High Court ruled again that imprisoning patients “is not one of the acceptable avenues [for hospitals] to recover debt.”

Omuya said she is still psychologically scarred by her detention at Pumwani, especially after another recent run-in with a Nairobi hospital.

Also Read: Kenya’s First Breast Milk Bank to Combat Newborn Mortality

Several months ago, her youngest brother was treated for a suspected poisoning. When Omuya and her family were unable to pay the bill, the situation took a familiar but unwelcome turn: he was imprisoned. Her brother was only freed after his doctor intervened.

“Detentions still go on because there are no rights here,” Omuya said. “What I suffered, I want no one else to suffer.” (VOA)