Saturday, February 15, 2003

Why don't DOCTORS just say no?

In case you're keeping track, here's another thing parents shouldn't be demanding antibiotics for: ear infections. According to new guidelines from "a joint sub-committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians," letting kids ride with otitis media for a few days will do no harm, and the infection may go away all by its ownself. The docs promise that no damage will be done to the kiddo's hearing, and you can always start the meds later. Easy for them to say; they don't know how my daughter used to howl and scream when she had an ear infection. Or maybe they do know, and that's why they don't want her in their offices.

Again, the assumption clearly stated is that hysterical, overprotective parents are responsible for the overprescription of antibiotics and their subsequent decline in effectiveness. How it is we force pediatricians to buckle to our evil will, I'm not sure. Maybe by bringing our screaming offspring and refusing to leave without drugs. At any rate, the joint subcommittee wishes we would knock it the heck off.

In other news, I finally went to my doctor last weekend with my lousy cold, which had mutated into an unsightly skin infection on my upper lip. The doctor thought the skin infection, like the cold, was probably viral, but gave me some antibiotics anyway just in case it was a staph infection. This is pretty much exactly the way I and my children have been prescribed antibiotics most, if not all, of the time -- by doctors who aren't sure it's needed, but want me to have it anyway. Do they assume my mere presence in their office represents an insistence on drug-getting? Has anybody reading this blog ever demanded antibiotics over a doctor's resistance, or has it usually been the other away around? Please use our "comments" feature to weigh in.

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