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The Discharge summary is a synopsis of your ailment, how you were at the beginning of the treatment, how you were treated, the diagnostic and investigation tests performed, and your state at present day of release. It contains details of the procedure followed. It will have all the technical terms as well your history considered. 

It carries instructions for continuing the treatment at home, along with medication, and other necessary interventions. It also highlights symptoms that need watching, and reporting, to avoid escalation of the basic disease or its side effects. 

It contains an emergency contact number also.

Although your symptoms may be relieved sooner than expected, the complete treatment should run its course, or else the disease may have a recurrence, or give rise to other problems.

This document will be important for reviews, second opinions, Insurance companies to cover the costs of post hospitalisation expenses . 

You and your caregiver must read this carefully and fully understand this. The hospital is obligated to explain you all the contents of the discharge report 

RELEVANT LINKS for further reading:

what should be included in a hospital discharge summary

The Discharge summary has a contact number and name of the person to be contacted during an emergency. 

The doctor would have advised the symptoms to watch out for in case the illness escalates. Alternately other symptoms may also emerge like vomiting, diarrheas, nausea, pain, bleeding etc, which warrant contact with emergency .

Your doctor may be reached by phone, whatsap or through his secretary also. 

Send a voice message and a picture of your problem if you can to the doctor by message and whatsap, 

Remember to give your reference, write your full name, and your illness in brief, on the message so that the doctor can place you.

Contact the Emergency department of the Hospital in case no one answers.

RELEVANT LINKS for further reading

after surgery discomforts and complications

common postoperative complications leaflet

Some hospitals have information about agencies who provide nursing attendants. These may be skilled, semi -skilled or just un -skilled. Choose an agency that is reliable and verify the cleanliness and safety of its people. Check the credentials by asking other references from patients or nurses from within the hospital.

Many such agencies have been functioning for providing homecare for patients.

Some hospitals have started their own home care programs and can be relied upon for sending attendants who are trained and safe. If someone is absent, the advantage is that you can get another person in place of the first one.

However it is the eye of the care giver to supervise the work of the attendant, the family is the best care giver.

RELEVANT LINKS for further reading:

how to choose an in home nurse

points to consider when choosing nursingcare

Surgical wounds need special care in dressing to avoid infection, and promote healing. Such wounds should be dressed in the hospital facility.

Bigger wounds need nurses to change bandages. Smaller wounds can be handled by the care giver or nursing attendant at home.

Handle the patient with clean hands, gloves, and masks at all times. Do not wet the bandages. Keep them adequately covered while bathing, or avoid bath until doctor gives permission. 

Use clean and sterile bandages, avoid touching the area by your hands. Use antiseptic or anti bacterial compounds for the dressing.

In some instances, anti biotics maybe needed 

Patient support groups may come to your aid in such cases, as they offer home care.

RELEVANT LINKS for further reading:

How to Control infections at Home

Your discharge report will indicate the need for physiotherapy or ny other therapy to speed up your safe recovery

Some surgical interventions make the affected organ sluggish. In order to get back full energy and power, physio therapy, or heat therapy, or similar recommendation by your doctor, will hasten the recovery process. Some interventions need special equipment to perform PT.

Usually the hospital may have a PT department. If not, you can go to any other hospital or private clinic who has PT facility 

You can take a package – of a certain number of days- or avail daily visits for such treatment. 

Ensure that the technician is trained and qualified to perform the PT. Treat the PT supervisor like your doctor. Explain the original symptoms, history, treatment, and follow up advised by your doctor before commencing any PT. 

Once you have followed the process, if you do not need special equipment, you can continue the treatment at home.

RELEVANT LINKS for further reading:

rehab after surgery

post surgical rehabilitation

The caregiver needs to understand the illness, and state of the patient with empathy. 

Follow doctors orders, and do not add own recipes for treatment.

Take the patient into confidence about his illness, progress and permission when you take certain decisions. The patient is entitled to making decisions about his own health and life.

If you have another attendant to help, supervise their work, do not leave the entire care to the third person.

The care giver is just a care giver, not a doctor, however much he may wish, he is not responsible for the cure of the disease. So let this not become a point of distress.

It is most important for care giver to look after himself or herself. The tension of the patient rubs off on the care giver, so it is essential to take car of person needs, food, rest and mental care.

RELEVANT LINKS for further reading:

In most facilities, special arrangements have been made for persons with disabilities. 

Remember to disclose your particular situation to the doctor or nurse, so that your care is not compromised.

Some patient support groups have focussed on individual disabilities. 

Make use of such PSG s and ask for help in the hospital. 

RELEVANT LINKS for further reading:

Disability & Health Information for Family Caregivers

6 tips for caring for patients with disabilities

Old age hurts and affects all of us in time. Special facilities have been created in hospitals for older people. 

Ask for help form nursing or attendants in case you cannot handle your own chores. 

Remember to share your problems with the doctor before starting treatment.

RELEVANT LINKS for further reading:

Home are for Elderly

Doctors and Nurses in hospitals try and provide the best treatment and care but sudden falls can result in serious harm and trauma. There is an alarming incidence of patient falls in Indian hospitals, despite efforts and care by healthcare staff. This risk can be minimized if patients and caregivers are alert and take proactive steps.

Firstly, patients should avoid moving alone if feeling weak or dizzy and should always use the call button for assistance. When getting out of bed, they should do so slowly and methodically. Ensure that the floor and toilets are dry and not wet. Wearing non-slippery footwear is essential, and patients should utilize handrails and walking aids for stability. Safety belts should be secured when on stretchers or wheelchairs.

Additionally, patients should keep their surroundings clutter-free to prevent tripping hazards. There are side guards on both sides of the hospital beds – they should always be raised. Lower the bed when you are getting off, avoid using the step stool unless you are confident, or someone is assisting you.

Finally, adhering to doctors; instructions regarding mobility precautions is crucial, as certain medications and treatments can increase the risk of falls. While you depend on nurses and attendants to help you, they are not always in your hospital room. Insist on the above safe practices.

To know more:

Preventing falls in Hospitals

Infographic - How can Patients prevent falls in Hospitals?

What happens if you slip and fall in a hospital?

What can you do to reduce your risk of falling? 

Falls pose significant risks, especially for patients and the elderly at home.  Post-hospital discharge there is a false sense of confidence, and we may not be as cautious once we are home. After hospitalization, there is natural weakness in addition effects of long immobility and medications make us more vulnerable to falls.  The trauma and harm caused are immense and can lead to extended recovery. To safeguard against falls, simple precautions can help.

Begin by decluttering living spaces. Remove obstacles like clutter, mats, cords, and excess furniture. If there are steps or levels, mark them with colored stripes for visibility. Footwear plays a critical role; opt for non-slip options, avoiding walking in socks or barefoot. Inside the bathroom, use non-slip mats and a rubber mat outside the shower. Install handrails for support but don't lock the bathroom door.

Well-lit homes are safer; employ night lamps in bedrooms, toilets, and corridors. Keep room doors slightly ajar for easy access.

Getting up from the bed should be gradual: sit up, sit on the edge, then stand, pausing at each step. Use the call button and take help if feeling unsteady; never attempt to move alone in such cases. Employ prescribed walking aids, seeking caregiver support when needed. Lastly, exercise enhances mobility, stability, and strength, diminishing fall risk. Consult healthcare providers or physical therapists for tailored exercise routines.

These measures significantly reduce fall risks and associated injuries.

To know more:

Preventing Falls at Homes

Infographic - Tips to prevent falls at home

What to do if you fall at home?

What causes people to fall?