“I'd rather regret the things that I have done than the things that I have not.”
― Lucille Ball

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Hospital privacy

Early this week my family was on a trip to Manila for US visa. The same day my sister in law, who stayed home with my wife and her baby, got an increasing stomach ache from a spontaneous abortion the day before.

A lady from our barangay with hospital experience, as a former secretary from the barangay captain, was called and the plan was to visit the emergency department of a governmental hospital in the area.

We went around 10 am and she was hospitalized for a day treatment room in the genealogy department. It seems that it is now government policy - as part of the family planning policy - that all women should deliver their baby in hospital, so that was probably the reason that all rooms for 2-3 beds, where now occupied by 6-7 patients.

This meant not only more patients, but also shortage of doctors and a big crowd of family walking around. Visiting hours do not exist, at least not for this department.

It must have been between 3 and 4 pm, when some people in and the crowd before the room, next to it where my sister in law was, started panicking. A whole bunch of nurses were sitting at ease in the shadow some 20-30 meters away. Some of them became reluctantly active and walked to the particular room.

It turned out that one of the women in that room was starting to deliver her baby. There was no doctor around and the crowd of all other rooms, including all nurses - still boys and girls - who were relaxing in the shadow. I learned later that the doctor had said before that it would take still a couple of hours and hence she was not brought to the delivery room.

I was sitting quite close to the room, but could not see what was happening inside. My privacy principles told me not to do what the other people were doing. Nobody decided to close the door and shut the windows, so it was a free theater for the whole crowd. It seemed that also for most of the nurses this was a special happening they had't seen before. Apparently it is also not in their eduction system to protect patients and secure their privacy.

What I understood later, the whole affair lasted maybe 10 minutes, was that the baby during delivery almost fell on the ground, happily it didn't happen, but I heaven't heard the details. I am still not sure of their was a doctor in the room or she came too late.

While my sister in law was examined and had her last treatment around 6 pm, we still had to wait until 8 pm for the payment process to be completed, so after visiting Jollibee to buy some takeaway food, we were home 9 pm, just 30 minutes before the family returned from Manila.


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