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How to Survive Your Hospital Stay
By Gail Van Kanegan and Michael Boyette

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How to Survive Your Hospital Stay

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How to Survive Your Hospital Stay
The Complete Guide to Getting the Care You Need - And Avoiding Problems You Don't
By Gail Van Kanegan and Michael Boyette
A Fireside Book: Simon & Schuster (2003)
Standard Print - ISBN: 0-7432-3319-0
Genre: Health, Medical Care

Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - February 27, 2004

Going to the hospital is never fun. A visit - either as a patient or a visitor - can be scary, upsetting, and worrisome. However, you go with the knowledge that you, or your loved one, is there to get well. Unfortunately, while hospitals are places of healing, they are also places where mistakes are made and where infections can be easily spread. For far too many people, their hospital stay turns out to be more dangerous than they ever imagined!

In How to Survive Your Hospital Stay, Gail Van Kanegan and Michael Boyette detail the various dangers that lurk in a hospital setting, and they offer practical, easy to follow advice on how to ensure that you stay is the safest one possible. From tips on how to decide if your hospital stay is really necessary to ensuring that your doctor washes his hands, this book provides you with the knowledge to stand up for your rights and to take an active part in your, or your family members, care.

In addition to explaining how to protect yourself from hospital acquired infections, they also offer advice on how to avoid medication errors and adverse reactions, how to deal with the hospital bureaucracy, and how to ensure that the staff sees you as a person, not just merely "...that appendicitis..." Advice is also proffered on how to deal with insurance companies and how to ensure that you receive the proper follow-up care after you leave the hospital.

The statics reported in this book are staggering: The statics relating to the dangers that a patient faces in the hospital are scary to say the least. However, by following the advice in How to Survive Your Hospital Stay, you will greatly increase your odds of becoming 'just another statistic'! The information in this book is presented in bite-sized segments. The main text is enhanced by the inclusion of highlighted lists of tips, checklists, and questions you should be sure to ask. In addition, sample forms, such as for a Living Will and a Medicare Discharge Form, are included and explained in detail.

How to Survive Your Hospital Stay is a must read for anyone who might one day need to receive care in a hospital, as well as those whose family members may be receiving care there. In other words, this book is a must read for everyone! If after reading this book, you want to delve deeper into the subject, the authors have included a resource list, as well as a bibliography. Being well informed will not only make you your own best advocate, but it will help alleviate some of the fear associated with having to go to the hospital for treatment.

Please note: The only drawback to this otherwise excellent book is that it is not yet available in large print.

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