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Warning! Be An Informed and Vigilant Patient

Posted by editor | Healthy Aging,Natural Medicine | Friday 28 January 2011 5:06 pm

Our own personal definition of natural health is to stay as healthy as possible and avoid, as much as possible, conventional doctors, hospitals, prescriptions, etc. That’s not advice. That’s our own personal choice.

But we do have this advice, gleaned from experience in a caregiving business, from friends, and from reading:  stay informed about your own health situation, your own medications (if you must have any), your own hospital stays, medical procedures, tests, etc. Do you own research. Ask questions of everyone. Stay on top of the situation. It’s your health.

A business partner was scheduled yesterday for an invasive procedure to determine if a disc was indeed leaking. The doctor knew his patient was on a baby aspirin regimen. The procedure was referred to a hospital-clinic location normally used by this surgeon. No written protocol was given to the patient, such as “do this” and “don’t do that.” Part of the protocol would have been “no aspirin for 7 days prior to procedure.” The oral instructions given over the phone by a representative of the hospital (given after the patient inquired, “What about medications?”) was “don’t take your aspirin and one other medication in the morning.”

The patient was hooked up to an IV and a port for anesthetic when the charge nurse caught the problem — the patient had not been off aspirin for 7 days. Whoops!

Doctors, nurses, assistants, etc., are not infallible. Especially today, with so much specialization and delegation, most medical professionals are just not as involved with their patients. You have to be totally involved. You have to be vigilant.

In addition, see our post at www.preparingtocare.com regarding a round-the-clock advocate for any hospital or facility stay.

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