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Hygiene in public hospitals - experiences?

  1. #1
    Liquorice is offline Registered User
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    Hygiene in public hospitals - experiences?

    Hello. Getting closer to my delivery date (c-section) and starting to think a lot more (and perhaps getting a bit more paranoid) about the impending operation.

    Looking for some reassurance from women who have given birth via c-section in public hospitals - particularly Prince of Wales. I know it is supposed to be a very good hospital - it is a teaching hospital, has a neo natal unit etc. - but I am starting to worry a little bit about hygiene levels. The main reason is that the toilets in the Obs & Gynae ward are really unhygienic. There is no toilet paper, few of them even have toilet seats, there is always urine all over the floor etc. It is the same with the health clinic I visit in Ma On Shan for women that will deliver at the POW. I cannot help but see this as a reflection on the hospital and their attitudes towards hygiene and cleanliness. I know that a lot of women pass through the clinic but I can't believe the hospital don't do more to keep it cleaner.

    Also, one of my local friends was praising the public system in HK, saying how good the care was but then remarked that the only thing I might find offputting is the hygiene, but "apart from that everything is good". Good hygiene is pretty essential in a hospital, particularly if you are having surgery.

    How have other people found public hospitals in terms of hygiene? Once you are in the hospital proper, in the operating theatre / on the ward etc. I am hoping that there is no issue with hygiene at all? Can anyone share their experience?

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    lisa88 is offline Registered User
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    I gave birth at POW in March 2009. I had planned a natural birth but needed an emergency C-section. Stayed for 4 nights. The toilets and wash basins were passably clean, with toilet seats all in place. Cleaners came twice a day if I remember correctly. The entire ward (I think 48 patients) all share the same toilets so it can get busy. When I was there the other patients were all civic minded and kept the washbasins and toilets clean. I also used the showers twice. Be prepared for the ward to be full so the only privacy you have is to draw your curtains. It will not block out the noise, so bring your eye mask and ear plugs if needed. The doctors, midwives and nurses were good, they were busy but did their best. I was allowed to have my baby beside me a lot of the time as the nursery was very busy too and I had wanted to get started with breastfeeding. Just remember that if anything bothers you, you will be home in 4 days. I thought of it as a no-frills experience and had no complaints at all about the medical or nursing care.

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    carang is offline Registered User
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    my suggestion would be to have your shower in the morning. i used to wait until the cleaner had finished and i'd be the first one in after that.... locals tend to have showers in the evening, so i'd always get it and it would be very clean.

    if i EVER saw anything disgusting, i'd just let the nurses know and they would get the cleaner in right away.

    totally, over 2 pregnancies, i was hospitalised 13 times for a total of about 3-4 months, so i got to know the routines quite well.

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    kaikosmom is offline Registered User
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    I gave birth by c/s in United Christian February of this year. I was there for 7 days as my baby was jaundiced. The hospital is kept very clean. Although, of course since you will be sharing the toilets with other patients, you cannot expect the them to be pristine everytime.

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    yonge is offline Registered User
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    Having gone to QMH for my ante-natal visits and having stayed at the paediatric as well as women's wards, I've had no complaints. Toilet paper and seats have all been in place. The ones attached to the rooms tend to be neater (fewer people using them I suppose) than the ones available to the general public. Nothing fancy, of course, but for the public ones, you may want to provide some feedback to the hospital to get their attention to address them.

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    Liquorice is offline Registered User
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    Thanks for the tips and suggestions. Grateful for any tips I can get! I know nothing about what I'm doing...

    I don't mind if the toilets aren't perfect all the time, it is more that the ones at the POW clinic are pretty bad and I just want to make sure that this doesn't mean that hygiene in the operating theatre won't be so hot either.... Sounds like that isn't the case though, which is good to know.

    48 people on a ward though. Wow, wasn't expecting that...but yes, it isn't for long...

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    lisa88 is offline Registered User
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    After you have had a c-section, the question is whether you recover quickly enough to get up and go to the toilet yourself. If you can't get up, you will be using a bed pan and having sponge baths. Of course you are encouraged to get up and about as soon as you possibly can. Some mums don't feel well after their c-section: nausea from the anaesthesia and some pain from the c-section wound. A clean toilet and shower are pretty important, yes, but in those early days I remember being much more concerned about my baby being well, bonding with her, and getting started with breastfeeding, as well as getting as much sleep as possible. I do remember counting the number of beds: 6 beds in each bay and 8 bays in one ward so it was 48 beds. As for the operating theatre, I would expect the doctors have the usual sterile standards so it is really not the same as a third world hospital in Bangladesh or Nepal (not that I have been to those places).

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    Liquorice is offline Registered User
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    Lisa88, so you had your baby with you for most of the day? I would like to do the same as I want to be able to breastfeed regularly while I'm in hospital. You aren't allowed your baby to sleep overnight with you though are you? How do you manage the feeding during the night if you don't want your baby to be fed formula? Do you express and give it to the nurses?

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