Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Medical Misdiagnosises in Muscat

One of our fave OPNO girls, her father died here in Muscat because of a serrious medical misdiagnonsis which resulted in the rapid deteoration of his heart, a condition which could have been easily treated AND cured with the proper treatment. Speaking to some of the leading cardiologists from the States, the healthcare system in Oman should have been able to easily diagnose her father's condition. So why was his heart condition blamed on his weight (which was never a factor at all)? Our OPNO girl's family blamed their insurance, and how it limited them from attending more capable hospitals, such as the government Royal, and Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, until it was really too late. Drs. at the Royal Hospital were disgusted and immediately established the man's true condition, and confirmed that had it been properly diagnosed earlier, he would likely still be alive to this day.

In my own personal experience, having good insurance coverage, doesn't prevent simple misdiagnosises here in Muscat. I have had friends who could afford to go to any private clinic to treat even a simple ear infection given medecines that should never, EVER be prescribed together. Together, two of the medecines, seperately to treat an ear infection, could cause heart failure. Go figure. Thankfully for another friend who worked for medical supplies company in Muscat, who immediately recognized that the two medecines should never be taken simultaneously!

My own nightmare was heading to a good private establishment (as I worked in healthcare I won't name any place I still think decent despite some errors in treatment) with an emergancy requiring urgent treatment. Alas, while care is usually at an amazing level at this particular establishment around 9 am-until 10 pm, my emergancy was NOT within those golden hours. When I arrived there was no specialist doctor available so the nursing staff, rather than sending me to another healthcare facility, decided to consult the specialist by phone. The specialist prescribed some medications without asking me for any of my previous medical history. I read the side-effects verrrrrrrrry carefully. Also, what medications not take in addition to it. Didn't matter, I immediately felt something wrong with my heart rate and went back to the nurses. I tried to tell them that the medication must be effecting me in the wrong way and I don't think they took me serriosly at all, until that it, I passed out right on top of the nurse, LOL!!!!

At the time I wasn't laughing though, waking up as I did hooked up to oxygen and on a cardiac monitor.

Agreed upon by all the OPNO girls, the greatest factor contributing to medical misdiagnosis in Oman is the general disregard by doctors of patients' concerns. I had asked the nurses repeatedly to tell me what the medecine was for, what it did, why I should take it. I was basically told that they knew what was best for me, and I should take any tests and any prescriptions they and the phone-specialist recommended, and be grateful, whether or not these treatments made any logical sense. Good thing I didn't listen, and only took half the pill they had prescribed, because even that alone caused my blood pressure to drop so low, it nearly dropped me for good!

I have heard of one woman who looked up her symptoms on the internet, and decided that she had contracted HPV, so she went to the gynecologist and was told it was nothing related to HPV and was nothing to be concerned about. As it DID turn out to BE HPV, and HPV can cause cancer, it is a good thing this woman did not take the doctor's words to be that of God, as many doctors in Oman in my experience, seem to expect us too.

Yet another friend wanted treatment for foodpoisoning, and when she was told that there was no treatment beyond a stomache pump [which she wasn't sick enough to need---she knew already how to stay hydrated and was managing that], the clinic still wanted to run numerous tests which would serve no purpose other than cost money, and the reason for the tests was ridiculous, as the friend ALDREADY knew what was causing her symptoms.

I am absoluelty tired of doctors and nurses trying to make me get an injection for things I don't need, when a tablet would suffice. No one needs a glucose drip when they are in a healthy enough state that they can sip orange juice and eat a digestive biscuit. No one needs an iron injection when they can go to a pharmacy and buy iron supplement tablets. And I especially don't like healthcare establishments giving these prescriptions summarily, and bullying the patients into taking them, doctors unwilling to supply a rationalization for why they are necessary in the first place.

I suppose I am an awful patient for the random private clinic in Oman, but now having gone through a pregnancy here, I had one final shock to make me laugh at the joke of it all.

I was aghast when I was told it was required of me to get a tetnus shot/injection in case of a cesarion delivery to protect the baby. We don't do this in my country. Why? Because it is EXPECTED, assured, that the instruments used for cutting in surgery there will indeed, be of a clean enough nature, not to cause any such infection, like tetnus.

Scary, scary thought.

My doctor, knowing me as she does, did not try to force me, or stab me with a needle when I didn't expect it (like another poor friend) at least.


Nanusa said...

Hey did u deliver?! if yes what did u name her!! If not how far along r u?? I has my daughter alhamsulilah a month ago..

leoPaw said...

You seem to hate the healthcare system of the country. But then, u can't help it when the system itself is that bad. Just can't imagine doctors treating patients over phone.