Saturday, November 23, 2013


Medical record reviews have consistently shown that 75% of patients who are given a diagnosis of an upper respiratory infection (URI's) and greater than 90% of those given a diagnosis of acute sinusitis leave a medical encounter with a prescription for antibiotics.

This is despite the fact that studies have consistently shown that virtually 100% of URI's and 70% of those with acute sinusitis will improve without antibiotics.

One pediatrician attributes this to drug-seeking behavior (DSB). She also attributes this to the abundance of walk-in clinics that may spend a minute or two with a patient prior to sending them on their way with an antibiotic prescription.

She notes that "when patients don't get what they want from me, they often turn to urgent care clinics instead to get the prescriptions they are seeking."

The pediatrician "shamefully admits to having caved under pressure at times and written a prescription that she didn't feel good about writing."

I admit to the same.

Shame on us and shame on the drug seekers!

I'm not overly optimistic things will ever change in this regard.

It's estimated that one complication from either a URI or acute sinusitis is prevented for every 4000 antibiotic prescriptions written.

Everyone is so concerned about being part of the 0.025% of folks who may have a complication instead of the 99.975% of those who don't.

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