“Must Prescribe Antibiotic, Must Prescribe Antibiotic … “

Jim Purdy, who often comments here, told me the following story:

Recently, a health professional ordered two tests for infectious bacteria in a small foot wound (I think the tests were for gram negative or gram positive bacteria, or maybe aerobic and anaerobic). Even before the bacterial tests came back, she wanted me to start on antibiotics. Instead I waited. The first results showed a very low level of a harmless bacteria, so I was glad I hadn’t started antibiotics.

When I saw her again, a few weeks later, I asked about the second set of bacterial tests. She claimed that there had only been one test, but I insisted she check again. She left, and came back a few minutes later and said that she had found the second results, and there had been no bacteria.

Surely the health professional knew that antibiotics are overprescribed, that antibiotic resistant bacteria have become a serious problem, that antibiotics are dangerous, and yet she not only failed give the wound a chance to heal on its own, she failed to allow test results to guide what she did. No wonder she forgot about the second test.

7 Responses to ““Must Prescribe Antibiotic, Must Prescribe Antibiotic … “”

  1. charlie Says:

    I think the real mystery is why you are seeing a “health professional” for a small foot wound.

    Again, sub-clincal.

    I wish you would focus on system that really have destructive antibacterial systems, such as India or Russia. That is the real danger, not this sub-clincal stuff.

  2. Jim Purdy Says:

    Charlie, I have type 2 diabetes, so any “sub-clinical” open foot wound can quickly become a serious problem for me. I check my feet daily, but I don’t see the point of taking unnecessary antibiotics.

    For that matter, I don’t like to take any medications. I prefer to let my body try to heal itself, without a lot of BigPharma chemicals.

  3. Drewfus Says:

    Unnecessary prescription of antibiotics would likely result in the atrophying of the immune system. This would result in an increased susceptibility to disease, and this in turn would likely result in more trips to the doctor. The business model of the medical establishment is anti-social.

  4. dearieme Says:

    Hello, hello: every retreat must start with a first pace.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9645346/Statins-side-effects-warning-when-combined-with-other-drugs-regulator.html

  5. charlie Says:

    @JimPurdy; good luck with that.

    As I’ve said before, self-experimentation is brilliant at sub-clinical issues.

    However, once you’ve got a major problem, trying to be smarter that your doctor has moved you into Jenny McCarthy territory.

    Seth: Jim Purdy was told by a team of doctors that if he didn’t have his leg amputated he would unquestionably die. That’s a major problem. Thinking life without a leg wouldn’t be worth living, he refused the amputation. He recovered. Jenny McCarthy has not had similar experiences, as far as I know.

  6. Adam Says:

    One of the Chinese pharmacists I work with noticed a doctor prescribing antibiotics for a patient with diarrhea. She then asked me why doctors prescribe antibiotics for diarrhea when antibiotics are well-known to *cause* diarrhea. At least she’s thinking about it!

  7. Robin Says:

    I went to my GP once because of a sore throat. He immediately prescribed antibiotics and a ton of other stuff. So I asked – Isn’t my problem a virus? Sore throats usually are. He was taken aback and simply said… “yes it is but you know these sore throats often develop into bacterial infections so you should take antibiotics just in case.”

    I live in Singapore where you get the drugs directly from the doctor. This place seems to have an extremely high rate of antibiotic use and very low levels of understanding about how to use them. I’ve met several people who said they “stopped taking them halfway through the course” because they felt better and saved the rest for the next time they got ill. They save the leftovers then pop them like they are echinacea to ward off a cold.