Accident in cappadocia

Photo by H.KoPP

It is not uncommon for us when visiting hospitals here to see a foreign tourist lying on an emergency room gurney having had an accident in Cappadocia. Of course, they could be there for simple issues like stomach bugs or sinus infections, but sometimes they have minor cuts and bruises or worse.

This is overall a safe place, and, thankfully, accidents in Cappadocia are rare. But whether you’ve broken an arm falling off a horse, or misstepped on a canyon hike breaking your leg, there are some injuries that aren’t quick fixes.

So, what do you do if that happens to you?

MY ACCIDENT IN CAPPADOCIA

Recently I crashed my motor scooter and got to experience firsthand what happens when you’ve been in an accident in Cappadocia.

I was on the old Ürgüp – Avanos road, near the famous “camel rock” in Devrent (Imagination) Valley when I threw myself over the handlebars of my scooter (I have to make it sound more dramatic than it was, as it is a bit embarrassing to crash a scooter!). Thankfully, my wife was driving right behind me and was there immediately to help. There were other drivers who stopped and took care of the logistics while my wife cared for me. It was very helpful to have these Turkish citizens take responsibility for me, calling the ambulance (dial 112 for ambulance), the traffic police, and the county sheriff, freeing my wife from the stress of doing all that in a second language.

The ambulance was there in a matter of minutes even though it was after dark and whisked me off to the state hospital for examination. The police also showed up and kept my wife busy with all the details of license and registration, filing papers, etc. I was sad about this part as she wasn’t allowed to go to the hospital with me.

Once at the hospital they got me immediately to the x-ray and tomography machines where I was diagnosed with a broken collar bone. They wrapped an ace bandage around my left arm and chest and duct taped the ace bandage in place. I didn’t see the x-rays or MRI, I wasn’t given any pain medication, and I was discharged without a recovery plan. But, in this case, you get what you pay for…it was all free!

My wife and I immediately went to the emergency room of one of the two private hospitals in Nevşehir, Kapadokya Hastane, for a second opinion. It was 11pm at this point, and the ER doc gave me a pain killer and told me to come back in the morning to see the orthopedic doctor.

BEWARE

Note: Sometimes you will see ambulances parked in tourist spots which can be helpful in case of accidents. However, we urge you to be careful as some online reviews show that some private hospitals have taken advantage of foreign tourists.

The doctor did his own x-rays and MRI and found that the broken collar bone was severe and would most likely require surgery and that I had broken ribs! Good thing we got a second opinion, and if you are not happy with your

HEADING TO KAYSERI

Because of the broken ribs, the orthopedic doctor wanted us to see a thoracic surgeon because maybe my lung was punctured or there was some internal bleeding that would have been dangerous to undertaking a surgery on the collar bone. The only thoracic surgeon in town was back at the state hospital. The emergency room doctor from the previous night suggested that we skip going to the government hospital and go directly to Acibadem Hospital in Kayseri.
We are really glad that he suggested this, and really glad that we took him up on it.

Acibadem is a professional, modern, and incredibly customer-service oriented hospital. They have English speakers who can make your visit much more comfortable. They deal with some international insurances so there is a possibility you do not have to pay out-of-pocket. And because it is private, we were able to see both the orthopedic surgeon and thoracic surgeon spontaneously, without an appointment.

Again, more x-rays and tomography and it was clear that the break was bad, and the ribs were an issue. The thoracic surgeon wanted to keep me overnight to make sure I was able to manage the pain, and see if there was any possibility of damage to the lungs or internal organs. The orthopedic surgeon said despite the bad break, he would prefer to do conservative treatment and not undergo surgery. I was happy about that! Here also, you get what you pay for…it was 1300TL (around $475) for the in-patient stay.

We like Kapadokya Hastane in Nevşehir and would have trusted their orthopedic surgeon to fix my collar bone. But it is nice to have a more professional option just an hour away in Kayseri. Most issues you may face can be treated here in Cappadocia. But in that rare instance that you have something more serious, we would recommend a visit to Acibadem in Kayseri.

Note: If you need to visit a pharmacy (Turkish: Eczane) in Cappadocia, click Dealing Drugs in Cappadocia.
And here is another post on emergencies in Cappadocia.

Here’s to hoping…you won’t have to use this post!

HOSPITAL CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kapadokya Hastane
Güzelyurt Mahallesi,
Vefa Küçük Cd. No:9,
50300 Nevşehir Merkez/Nevşehir
Hours: Open today · 8AM–5:30PM
Phone: (0384) 212 15 50

Acibadem Hastane
Melikgazi Mahallesi,
Mustafa Kemal Paşa Blv. No:1,
38030 Melikgazi/Kayseri
Hours: Open today · Open 24 hours
Phone: (0352) 207 44 44

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Christian Dedrick is an English teacher living in Avanos. He has lived in Turkey since 2008 with his wife and three sons. He moved to Cappadocia in 2011 and is excited to be sharing stories from his life here. He enjoys spending time with Cappadocians, hearing, and telling their stories.
He began writing for CaptivatingCappadocia in spring 2012.
Click here to read more about Christian.