Patients without healthcare make bad self-diagnoses. I’m shocked.
The NY Times has a heartbreaking story about people under 30 who can’t afford healthcare. It’s pretty horrific: juvenile diabetics who have to switch from insulin pumps to injections (which lowers blood sugar control), a woman who went to the emergency room for 46 hours and wound up owing the equivalent of a year of college tuition, and so on (that I can say “and so on”, and you can probably come up with your own examples is indictment enough). But this gobsmacked me:
Ms. Polec’s roommate, Fara D’Aguiar, 26, treated her last flu with castoff amoxicillin — “probably expired,” she said — given to her by a friend.
That repeating thudding noise you’re hearing is me smacking my head against the wall. ‘Flu’–probably winter vomiting disease and not influenza (although how could one know? There was no medical professional involved)–is a virus. Amoxicillin is an antibacterial–that is, ineffective against viruses–and can occasionally cause nausea or diarrhea (and severe allergic reactions in very rare cases). Not only is this is irresponsible use, but inappropriate antibiotic use can harm patients.
This is why we need a health system where sick people can contact trained medical personnel.
But at least Wall Street will still get some bonuses. Good thing we have that covered.