MEDICAL EMERGENCY


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Escrito por Brent & Susan () via proxy desde 189.147.164.120 (dsl-189-147-164-120-dyn.prod-infinitum.com.mx) el día viernes, 19 de febrero, 2010 a las 15:00:53 horas :

There have been a few postings in the past about how to deal with a medical emergency while in Zihuatanejo. We think a recap of our recent experience might be of benefit if anything similar happens to you.

But first, we made two very serious mistakes and our advice now is:
1. If you are experiencing unusual medical symptoms go see a doctor immediately. Don't delay. There are good doctors in Zihua and they are not expensive.
2. Don't self-medicate. We found that this can mask important symptoms and can delay a correct diagnosis.

Anyway, about two weeks ago Susan was experiencing mild diarea. We figured this was a result of some of our eating adventures. About mid-day Saturday she was not feeling good at all and decided to take a nap. By that night she was experiencing quite a bit of stomach pain. We thought this was the next stage of the food bug so she took a Cipro tablet that we have been saving for such a situation.

Sunday morning she was still very sick so took another Cipro. As it turned out this was a very bad mistake and probably masked early symptoms. By Sunday evening there was no improvement and the stomach pain was getting intense. We took her to MEDICIEL HOSPITALIZATION (www.clinicamediciel.com) at Av. Morelos #6 in Zihuatanejo. This is a new (3 yrs) medical facility with a doctor on duty 24 hours/day. The on duty doctor examined Susan, concerned that she might have appendicitis, but her symptoms looked more like an intestinal problem. He asked that she return Monday morning for further tests.

Monday we returned to the clinic and were met by 3 doctors including a gastrointestinal specialist. Susan was still showing confusing symptoms and there was some thought that she had a blockage in her upper intestine. They kept her the day and overnight on an IV to cleanse the anti-bacteria medication (Cipro) from her system. Again there was a doctor on duty all night and a nurse sat by Susan's bed most of the night.

Tuesday morning the 3 doctors met Susan again. Added to the earlier X-rays, they took a sonogram and became convinced that she had an appendicitis problem. MEDICIEL is qualified to operate on an appendix but the doctors were concerned that, because of the delayed diagnosis, she could have complications that would be difficult to treat here. They recommended that we get her quickly to Mexico City, Morellia, Guadalajara or the United States. Because of the urgency and recommendation from the doctors we decided that Guadalajara was our quickest/best locat1on and contracted with Emergency Response Air Ambulance. They flew a plane from Mexico City and arrived Zihua by early afternoon. The plane was nothing special, a Cessna 6 passenger with two seats removed for a bed. But it did have a doctor and paramedic on board with all the emergency equipment - IV's, oxygen, medications, etc. They flew us to Guadalajara where we were met by an ambulance and transported to the PUERTA DE HIERRO MEDICAL CENTER (www.empdh.com) arriving about 5:30 PM.

We were met by doctors at the emergency entraNce and they immediately took Susan in for examination. Soon the primary doctor came out and explained that Susan had severe appendicitis and that she had to go into surgery immediately. He assured me that they would do everything possible but explained that her situation was extremely dangerous. He appendix had exploded and by then she had a substantial amount of infection.

Laproscopic surgerY was performed on her that night and just before midnight they wheeled Susan into her privatE room for recovery. She stayed in the hospital for eight days on anti-biotic IV's and infection drainage hoses. She was under constant survielance with doctors and nurses checking on her every 20 minutes throughout the nights and days. Her room was very modern, very comfortable. Much like a nice hotel room. It even had a sofa bed that I was able to use and stay with her day and night.

We cannot say enough good things about PUERTA DE HIERRO. It is a new (5 yrs) hospital that is state of the art in every way. Staffed by excellent doctors and caring nurses. The hospital is capable of performing every kind of medical procedure including heart transplants, neuro-surgery, etc. We would go there again without question.

Wednesday Susan was released and we flew back to our home in Zihuatanejo where she will be recovering for 3 to 4 weeks.

INSURANCE
We carry USA insurance through United Health Care. Puerta de Hierro does not have a relationship with UHC so they asked for a 10,000 peso deposit to admit Susan. They do have a relationship with Blue Cross and a couple other insurance companies however. I called UHC and they advised that they could correspond with the hospital and insure coverage. After some consideration we decided to pay all the expenses with our credit cards and then turn the bills to UHC for reimbursement. We will see how that goes.

COSTS
Mediciel emergency visit + medication 1,200 pesos
Mediciel doctors, x-rays, sonogram + overnight stay 14,500 pesos
Air/land ambulance 163,300 pesos
Puerta de Hierro Medical Center (8 days) 140,200 pesos
Puerta de Hierro Surgeons, Anesthesiasts and other doctors 65,100 pesos
Follow-up medications 2,100 pesos

TOTAL (about US$ 30,000) 386,450 pesos

We hope you never experience something similar, but maybe this will provide you some helpful information if you do.




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