Thursday, July 1, 2010

Disease update

I have to rant a bit. Anyone who takes antibiotics without a confirmed lab result diagnosis (from an accredited lab) is crazy. When the doc shoots in the dark and says, "well indications are that this could be UTI/pylonephritis, etc. so we'll treat it in case" run the other way. No good can come from "just in case antibiotics." Even with known infections you become susceptible to C-diff and believe me - you don't want it. I am on the fourth round of antibiotics to get rid of it. Apparently this little bacteria likes to hang around and come back as soon as you think you're out of the woods. And you get it because of broad-spectrum antibiotic use. It has passed MRSA in hospital-acquired infection and can be just as hard to treat due to resistant strains.

Don't get me wrong; antibiotics can be wonder drugs. But history has shown that taking them too often causes problems with resistance - and with CDAD at a 20% recurrence rate. Fortunately I have been remarkably healthy and have rarely needed antibiotics. Still I have been a bit complacent about their use. I knew they would give babies diarrhea while treating the ear infection, etc. but, hey, the kid's sick and in pain. What ya gonna do?

When you need antibiotics, you need them and you have to take the chances, but the problem is so many people take them when they aren't really needed and they put themselves at unnecessary risk for superinfections. This is my frustration. I had a bacterial infection that required antibiotics to prevent sepsis, serious problems or even death. Then the benefit outweighs the risk. Ear infections are like that too and we treat the resulting side effects, but when penicillin was invented everyone thought it was the panacea for all illness and doctors treated everything with it until it became very impotent against many infections which it originally could cure. We just need to be judicious in the use of antibiotics and know the risks.

Anyway, the word from the (wiser now) nurse - don't do it if you don't really need it!

1 comment:

  1. 1. Maybe you could refrain from acronym use so those of us without a medical dictionary for a brain could understand better!

    2. The end of your post is confusing about the ear ache - surely you aren't suggesting not using an antibiotic for ear infections?


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