Treating Flu

Image on worak on flickr

Image on worak on flickr

Part 2 of a mini-series

I am currently posting about some calls I have been to where people have either behaved inappropriately or seemingly called the ambulance service inappropriately.  I fully acknowledge that sometimes people react out of panic, and sometimes people do things because they are stressed. However, I would never dream of talking to a member of the uniformed services the way that some people talk to me. And sometimes, just sometimes, I just do not understand some people’s thought processes, and I believe I can normally take a fairly reasoned view of these situations.  I would love to hear what you think of these stories – please write a comment at the bottom of the post.

Starting to feel better?

I stumbled upon a blog recently, a South African lady living in Italy, bemoaning the fact that after five days of suffering flu she started to feel a little better, and finally got herself to the GP to demand medication (well done for not calling an ambulance at least). However, she was incensed because she was only prescribed a dose of good old fashioned advice rather than the hard drugs that she demanded to cure her condition.

She blogged on about how her GP took the time to explain to her that;

‘Colds and flu are caused by viruses and therefore do not respond to antibiotics that are only effective against bacterial infection; subsequently when struck down with flu we should  manage the symptoms with Paracetamol, plenty of fluids, bit of TLC and sit tight until it blows over’.

However, he had clearly wasted his time with this one, because a few days later, clearly fully recovered, she talked indignantly in her blog about how when she manages to drag herself to the doctor with the flu, she at the very least expects to be rewarded for her effort by being;

‘given some antibiotics for the effort’

In relation to his common sense advice she says that she;

‘could have told herself this bit of information without leaving home’

Which begs the question – why didn’t she then? Perhaps she holds the belief that she should be the exception to the rule; and that she should be the one special individual who is given antibiotics for her nasty cold/flu.

Obviously I am not in full possession of the details of her case, but on the face of it the doctor’s advice would appear to be correct. Full points to the doctor, for actually taking the time out to explain his rationale to her and offer some good advice on how best to cope with the unpleasant symptoms.

Faced with such demanding patients many doctors would have simply relented and prescribed the antibiotics she believed she needed for an easy life. Despite them being of no value, they would at least get her out of the surgery content that something had been done. The doctor can then be smug in the knowledge that the side-effects of antibiotics which can include gastric upset or thrush may soon kick in and justice would be done!

Any thoughts?

What do you think of this story? Are you confused about knowing when you should have antitbiotics and when you shouldn’t? Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts.


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