When NOT to go to the Hospital in France

One of my biggest fears is getting some sort of life-threatening illness that will force me to go to a hospital in France during the month of AUGUST. It’s not the getting terribly sick part that is so horrifying, it’s the going to the hospital in August part. Let me get ill any other time, but god, please: not in August.

Most people know this but just to reiterate: France is basically closed for business during the month of August. It is the time practically everyone takes a vacation and many businesses are simply closed or work with a skeletal staff, or interns. (This is why, I feel, I haven’t received my Mac from Apple France! The people who know what to do are on vacation! To date: it has been 3 weeks plus 2 days since we ordered, the wrong Mac is still sitting boxed waiting to be picked up and I STILL haven’t received the correct one!!! but I digress.)

Yesterday, it was reported that an 18-year old man in Reims was admitted into the hospital to have a varicose vein removed, which normally, is a simple and uncomplicated procedure that involves rudimentary surgery and the patient can usually leave the hospital the same day. This man, in otherwise perfect health, never woke up from his surgery; he died on the table due to a grave surgical error, a major artery was accidentally cut and he bled to death. [via france2, rtl]

I find this story so incredibly tragic, and think it might have been avoided if he had gone when the hospital was better staffed. I dunno. Maybe he would’ve gone in March or May, had the procedure and be alive today. But maybe the same mistake would have taken place in those months. Who can know what would have happened?

Mistakes do happen, I realize. All the time, not just in August. And everywhere, not just in France. So when I say “don’t go to the hospital in France in August” please realize this is more relatively tongue-in-cheeky and an exaggeration – I’m SURE you can find quality hospital healthcare in France, even in August!

My choice, however, would be to try to avoid getting admitted into a hospital in France, in August, if at all possible. But that’s just me because stories like these contribute to my paranoia and deeply mess with my conspiracy theories and dreaded fears.

August 26th, 2006 by