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If your family member is in a hospital in India, it doesn't mean that he is now safe. You need to be on your guard to make sure no slip-ups happen.

Hospitalization in India is a complete nightmare. Many of us have heard horror stories of errors made by staff, even in the best of hospitals. It's bad enough that the patient and his family are already mental agony, and shoddy staff and technicians only add to a person's already existing anxiety.

Don't think that just because your child is in a hospital under the care of a good doctor, he is safe. Remember that good doctors work out of numerous hospitals - and are not employed by the hospitals. They just use the facilities offered by a hospital. The staff, on the other hand, is employed by the hospitals, and if the staff bungles up, does shoddy work or does not act with due haste, the results can be disastrous. Here is one story that, though ended well, shows the inconsiderate attitude towards the discomfort of patients.

Recently Mr. Neerav Thakur was diagnosed with malaria and admitted to the new Hirananadani Hospital in Mumbai. Although treatment was immediately commenced, the callous attitude of the nurses was visible from the first day. They couldn't find his vein, and had to prick him a number of times before they could finally draw blood for tests. The same thing happened a couple of times before his wife Tara put her foot down and demanded that a doctor draw blood. Finally a doctor from the pathology lab drew blood himself, and he managed on the first go. The next few times Tara requested that the nurses call the same doctor every time blood was required to be drawn, and the same doctor would readily come when called. Then the next day a senior nurse insisted on drawing blood herself. She said she was an expert and would find the vein at once, and she refused to call the doctor. Tara relented since the nurse seemed so sure, and resumed eating her dinner. Within a few moments she noticed that the nurse seemed to be struggling, and she threw her food and went up to see that the nurse had pricked him around 5 times already, trying to find the vein! Surprisingly, Tara didn't slap her hard across her face.

The same night, Neerav was given an antibiotic intravenously that he was allergic to. He started shivering and broke into a sweat. Tara informed the nurses and told them to call the doctor, but they appeared hesitant saying that everything must be okay and the doctor will take a look in the morning. Tara of course flew into a rage and had to create a huge scene before the thick-skinned nurses finally called the doctor - who came immediately and settled Neerav.

Relatives of patients often realize that they need to be on their guard to make sure things go like clockwork. They cannot depend on the staff, and need to constantly have their wits about them. That's what Tara learnt from this experience, and wanted to share it with the rest of IndiaParenting members, so they know what to do if they are ever in the same boat.

Have you undergone similar experiences? Share any good or bad incidents that you have encountered in hospitals with us, so we can all make better choices with regard to healthcare for our families.

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