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Emergencies - ambulance

Japan With Kids - Forums: Health Topics: Emergencies - ambulance
By Lenemaia on Tuesday, October 2, 2007 - 4:47 pm:

I feel like I must share my experience, so that others may not make the same mistake I did:

After an accident you go to a hospital where doctors will take care of you.
But I have learned a very valuable lesson in Yokohama:

My daughter, my husband and I went out for a nice lunch and a walk in Yokohamafs famous Minato Mirai area. We had our 6 months old daughter in her stroller for the very short walk, but suddenly she was laying face down on the pavement!
I picked her up and saw blood in her mouth... and we rushed to the hospital very close by. Took us about 3 minutes to walk/run there, though it felt like forever. When we arrived at the emergency room, our daughtersf mouth was full of blood and she was kind of moaning, not crying. I was really nervous and could feel a panic attack coming. The doctor and nurses there said that they could not take our little baby girl in because she was a baby and there was not a baby expert available?!? ...
I thought my ears were playing a trick on me, but no; they actually refused us - a 6 months old baby with her mouth full of blood! They didn't even give any first aid. They did nothing!
If my girl had been 6 years old instead of 6 months she would have gotten immediate medical attention. What is the big difference between stopping a bleeding on a 6 months old and a 6 year old, apart from the obvious size?

We had to call an ambulance!
- We did and while waiting I asked if they at least could give me some sterile gaze to try and stop the bleeding on my own, because the doctor and nurses there just stood passive by, watching us. The nurse told us that we should not be cleansing a baby mouth and then she offered me tissues! Ifm sure it was very good quality tissues, but my thinking was that tissues could infect any wound she might have in her mouth (or dissolve in all the blood and then my baby could get it in her airwaysc then we would really have a party!)
My husband finally talked the nurse into giving us some gaze. So I guess the hospital is better than an African field hospital...

A minute later the ambulance arrived and I thought gGreat, now it wonft be long before my baby girl can get some helph. The very kind ambulance people examined our baby loosely and then they called hospital after hospital - after hospital to try and find one who would take our baby in.
We sat outside a hospital in Minato Mirai, in an ambulance, calling 10 hospitals for 50 minutes!?! Then finally we found one in KAWASAKI!!?! We had to drive to Tobou to get medical attention for our baby girl.

It took us about 1/2 hour to get there and outside the emergency doors a very kind and sweet nurse were waiting for us. She spoke English to me and kept talking to my daughter. She had a very calming effect on me and I was so happy that my daughter finally got the medical attention she should have gotten more than 1 1/2 hour earlier.
It turned out that our daughter was okay. Physically anyway. But I am afraid that she has suffered quite a bit emotionally/mentally. Since then she has been more jumpy, cries more easily, gets really scared when someone sneezes... she is no longer the happy little smiling baby I had before the accident and it's killing me. I know I canft blame the hospital for this, but I am convinced that if she had gotten immediate medical attention, she wouldnft have had to go through the anxiety of feeling her mothers despair at the first hospital and taken a ride in an ambulance with sirens on and maybe the psychological impact could have been reduced.
Giving first aid at the hospital in Minato Mirai would have helped a lot and might have made a world of difference to me as the mother and to my baby girl.

Maybe they have a lack of expertise, but they are doctors and they should know more about these things than the rest of us. Especially when they are working in an emergency room. Maybe it would be a good idea if the hospitals here in Japan would re-think their policies...
Who leaves a 6 months old baby with her mouth full of blood hanging like that??

What would have happened if she had a severe bleeding inside her mouth and she was swallowing the blood so no one could see how bad it was? I thought doctors were here to help us all. It really makes me wonder if I want to live in this country...

What happens next time my baby girl has an accident? I must call an ambulance, even if I am standing in front of a hospital? At the same time it will mean that I will take up an ambulance that someone more severely hurt could have used? When it comes to emergencies I have learned that time is the biggest enemy you have. But maybe the biggest enemy in Yokohama is where to go?

Yes, the accident was our fault in the first place and we are in no way proud of that! But it does not make it okay to reject anyone at an emergency room.
I do know for sure that we will never use the hospital in Minato Mirai. I am hoping that other hospitals have a different policy or at least are willing to help while waiting for an ambulance. Thank God for the sweet nurse at Tobou Kawasaki hospital! Otherwise I would probably have lost any faith I had in the Japanese medical system.

My point is: If you have an accident, don't waste time running to the nearest hospital. Just call that ambulance right away - and oh; Always carry around some sterile gaze and wet tissues. You never know when they will be needed.

The - now - healthy Kimura family in Yokohama.


By Edlyn on Tuesday, October 2, 2007 - 5:04 pm:

I'm sorry to say your experience is completely normal and it is just luck if you get treatment. On my 43rd birthday I had a very serious septic infection and my husband and even I were afraid I would not survive the night. We took a cab to Nisseki Hiroo and were denied admittance because they were busy or didn't have a specialist or some such nonsense and told us to call another hospital. For an hour my husband stood at a payphone calling hospitals. Periodically we would appeal to the staff for assistance as I was gravely ill and we were turned down by hospital after hospital. We asked at the least for a transfer (standard operating procedure in America)..no dice. Finally I was accepted by Jikei University and we had to take a taxi across town at 10:00 at night with two young children in tow. I spent 3 weeks at the hospital before I was well enough to be flown to the U.S. for further medical treatment.

There is a quite famous case last year of a woman denied admittance by 30 hospitals following delivery complications and she died. Her baby survived but that is little comfort to her husband and daughter.

There is really no way to get around it. If you are lucky in an emergency you will get care, if not you are out of luck but at the very least you are told that you must call ahead to emergency to see if they will treat you. My idea of an emergency is a little different...you rush right down but that is not the procedure here. I just pray we never need emergency care although we have had to take the kids in twice.

I hope you don't need emergency care again.


By Taid on Tuesday, October 2, 2007 - 5:24 pm:

Yeah, its some dumb thing like "we're not licensed" or "we don't have a specialist" so if something happens they can't get sued for malpractice or what ever... its on the Japanese news (or "variety" shows) all the time.

But isn't it the samething in the states if you're not certified for CPR/First Aid you are better off not helping the person because "if something happens" you can get sued. (Atleast thats what I learned in CPR/First Aid. They were like "if your CPR/First Aid expires don't help people because you're not certified anymore and ppl can sue you")


By Edlyn on Tuesday, October 2, 2007 - 5:49 pm:

They passed a good samaritan law some years ago for that reason so that if somebody is injured or even dies as a result of your actions but you were attempting to administer aid or assistance in good faith then they can't sue you. But of course they can still try!!


By Taid on Tuesday, October 2, 2007 - 5:55 pm:

oh really? thats good to hear. maybe i should update my CPR/First aid...and now AED...


By Lenemaia on Tuesday, October 2, 2007 - 6:02 pm:

I am chocked to hear that this is normal... Where I come from it would be absolutely unheard of and if it happened - it would be all over the news until things changed. But of course, where I come from a hospitals emergency room can't reject you at all. But I guess in Japan, things don't change. Not even when a woman dies from complications after a delivery.
It's truly horrible.


By Okandthen on Wednesday, October 3, 2007 - 12:11 pm:

oh! god,sounds very scary to leave in this country too long with 2 babies and no nanny,it will be very hard.


By Okandthen on Wednesday, October 3, 2007 - 12:14 pm:

oh!god sounds very scary to live in this country too long with 2 babies and no nanny,it will be very hard.


By Solomani on Saturday, July 6, 2013 - 1:28 am:

Is this still the case in 2013? Seems this system would be unworkable. Would have people during in hospital emergency wards constantly.


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