My Delhi Souvenir – A Survey of World Mecidine

New Delhi, India- 26 November 2010 

Bright and early on 26 November, I awoke for my first full day in Delhi.  On my way to get breakfast, I got bitten by a dog on the street. The bite itself was not too bad. One cut about 2cm long and a few smaller scrapes and bruises.

However, this is India and India is not quite the cleanest place or known for having particularly clean street animals. Therefore, I spent my morning at the hospital. Which itself was not particularly clean. In fact when I asked for some soap to wash the wound, this was a bit puzzling to the doctor and nurses.

Luckily, the hospital has its own dog bite ward and all 4 of the shots I had to get came from pre-wrapped needles that I watched them dispose of after using them on me. Oddly enough the shots hurt more than the dog bite and were in the following parts of my body: forearm, wound site (calf), upper arm and (of course) my behind.

I have to go back in 3 days and get another round of shots. And then must find places throughout my remaining travels to get more shots once a week until Christmas. Most excellent.

The part that makes me most mad (more mad than having to sit on the floor waiting in line while bleeding even) is that I am pretty sure it was part of a scam. (not the hospital but the bite)

I was walking along minding my own business when a dog ran up and bit my calf. When I screamed and then stopped to examine my wound, a man came up to me offering to help. Magically I was right in front of a little pharmacy stall. He said he was a doctor and offered to give me rabies shots right then and there. Of course, I refused and went to a hospital because even if it wasn’t a scam, I am not getting shots from a pharmacy on wheels.

Maybe I’m jaded and have lost my faith in humanity that I would assume this is a scam. But it just seems too perfect that a dog would randomly run up to me and bite me just enough to break the skin but not actually cause major injury and that less than 3 feet away is a “doctor” ready to sell me rabies shots on the street.

Anyway, day one of site-seeing in Delhi ruined. And I didn’t even get my morning cup of coffee until the whole debacle was over at 3:00!

A Retrospective

As I continued my travels and rabies treatments, I ended up at a variety of hospitals.

Delhi, India- special ward just for rabies shots. Did not triage or clean my wound only gave me shots. No computers.  When I asked for soap to clean my wound, this was met with confusion  Wait time about 4 to 5 hours. Crowded dirty lobby no seating. Very sick people laying on the floor. Cost Free.

Krabi, Thailand- general ER/Out Patient ward. Nice helpful staff. Chairs. Paperwork computerized. Waiting room is open air (luckily its quite warm) took my temp, weight and bp. Almost gave me the wrong meds until the nurse noticed and made me go back to get the right meds.  Wait time 3 hours. Cost 17 dollars.

Taipei, Taiwan- General Out Patient ward. Clean efficient. Take a number and wait for it to be called. Easy. Took my vitals, discussed my previous and ongoing treatment  examined the wound site (first place to do so) asked about my medical history. Put a bandage on the injection site.   Wait time 1 hour. Cost 75 dollars.

Columbia, USA (Christmas Eve!)- ER at the hospital where my mother works.  Clean.  Lengthy wait, paperwork intensive.  Could not pay by cash or credit card onsite, needed to wait several weeks for the bill to be mailed.  I did get a private room and my mom waited with me.  Wait time 2.5 hours.  Cost 400 dollars.

All told, this has been a true learning experience. I wish I could have taken photos in all these places.

My advice- don’t get bitten by a dog, but if you do, go to Taiwan for treatment!

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10 Responses to “My Delhi Souvenir – A Survey of World Mecidine”

  1. That sucks …but honestly, you are probably safer getting bit by another dog to cure the first bite than going to a hospital in Delhi …Ha. That sucks…

  2. TheBlackTwig Says:

    No wonder you had a lot of complaints about the hospital in Delhi. Because it’s FREE. 🙂 Most things come with a price these days. I bet if you go to a hospital in Delhi with a 400USD bill, they will also give you similar treatment like you had in US, probably more.
    Lesson: Don’t expect too much if you didn’t pay much, or rather, nothing. 😀

    • jessieisskoopy Says:

      There are hospitals you can pay for in India. I didn’t chose the hospital by price, I chose it by proximity to me at the time of my need.

      I actually would be prefer to pay 75 dollars and get the care I got in Taiwan. 🙂

      • TheWhiteTwig Says:

        Unfortunately, the choice is not yours. That is ultimately on the dog to decide whether he bites you in India or Taiwan. However, if you are ready with 75-100 bucks, a quick first aid and then a better hospital in Delhi would have helped for sure.
        Health services in India sucks, but providing it for free to 1.2 billion people is certainly not a dog’s play :).

  3. […] Our time in India was split between Delhi and Agra.  I won’t write much about Delhi in this blog entry because most of my time was taken up by spending 2 days in the hospital dealing with my dog bite.  Read all about the dog bite here. […]

  4. […] I’m skipping our first stint in Bangkok because I got a migraine and spent most of the time asleep and also skipping our first stint in Ao Nang because I spent most of that time in Krabi hospital (due to the rabies incident). […]

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  7. […] My most memorable moment was definitely my final rabies treatment. […]

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