Doctors don't always get ear infections right

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by wdlove, Mar 30, 2004.

  1. macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    It's a ritual: A poor kid is up all night crying and tugging at an ear. The parents bring the child to the doctor, who diagnoses an ear infection and gives antibiotics. Though most parents accept this treatment, authorities increasingly wonder if it hurts more than it helps.

    First, a recent study suggests that pediatricians probably can't make the diagnosis reliably more than half the time. Second, most of the drugs given for ear infections probably don't help anyway. As a result, hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of antibiotics have been prescribed unnecessarily to children, leading to increasingly resistant microbes. Last month, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued new guidelines for diagnosing ear infections and cutting down on the overuse of antibiotics.
  2. macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    Do you ever find articles online that you don't post?

  3. thread starter macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    I read the article in the Boston Globe newspaper first, It's in the Health/Science section. Thought that it was important information for the mothers and fathers on the forum.
  4. macrumors 6502a


    Dec 3, 2002
    The inner depths of madness, aka Kent, OH
    i've read for years about how doctors constantly misdiagnose people and i believe it! when you go to the doctor and they spend about 3 minutes with with, jot down and perscription and run off there is something wrong. the only doctor i ever had to actually SPEND TIME with me and find out what was wrong left Ohio, probably due to the insane malpractice insurnace which is why doctors are leaving Ohio in droves.
  5. macrumors 68020


    Jan 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I think I've had antibiotics once in my life. I am allergic to penicillin, so that's out of the question for me. The thing is, I rarely get sick, asides from stuff like watery eyes and a stuffy nose from allergies. My roommate on the other hand, seems to think that every illness he has requires antibiotics. He got mad at our University Health Services for not prescribing him antibiotics a couple of months ago. I think more people need to realize that antibiotics, while effective at solving the problems they're intended to solve, don't let the body learn to become immune to different sicknesses...
  6. macrumors 65816


    Jun 3, 2002
    I have 2 kids, post toddler stage. I know the doctors weren't supposed to supply the "pink stuff" every time my kids had an ear infection. Since they really shouldn't do that, couldn't the doctor supply a mild decongestant instead to alleviate pressure in the ear? Is there any companies even doing research in this area? My thoughts for this are 1. If you relieve pressure in the ear, it will ease the baby's discomfort. 2. By draining the ear, the infection has no place breed.

    Anybody know anything about this?
  7. thread starter macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    Good for your University Health Service. The problem with over use of antibiotics is that bacteria are becoming resistant. In the future that will become a large problem. It's your friends belief that has caused the resistance problem.
  8. macrumors 68040


    Apr 21, 2003
    washington dc
    whoa! :eek: i happen to enjoy all of his posts about whats going on in the world... go get down iGav's throat for all of his websites... (not that i don't like those either :D)
  9. mvc
    macrumors 6502a


    Jul 11, 2003
    It IS a community forum. iGav definitely takes the cake for amazing posts about anything and everything. But wdlove has a genteel perspective which is a nice change from "winblows sux ass lol lol" type of input. :)
  10. macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2002
    watch out.

    this is a pretty risky topic. being the son of one of the hardest working doctors in michigan it's easy for people who don't understand medicine to flame doctors and accuse them of something they don't understand. 11 years of post highschool schooling accounts for something. doctors are only human though so they too make mistakes.. but not often. almost all malpractice cases that we hear of are usually the same type of people who sue McDonald's for making them fat. blah.
  11. thread starter macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    Thank you for your support gwuMACaddict & mvc. It is greatly appreciated. Maybe paulwhannel was partly joking and forgot the smilie? He is usually positive.
  12. macrumors 68020


    Jan 20, 2003
    New York
    ugh. i hate ear infections. i had to have tubes in my ears, so it was annoying. i needed to go to speech therapy because my hearing was messed up.
    now i still get the occasional ear infection, once or twice a year. i've had so many, i can tell weather it's an ear infection or not before the doctors even walks in the room.
  13. macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2004
    I agree. To be fair, I think our understanding of the human body isn't complete and the practice of medicine is constantly evolving. So if conventional wisdom changes as a result of some new research that doesn't de-legitimize treatments that were considered acceptable at the time.

    Except leeches. There was no excuse for that.
  14. thread starter macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    I remember having ear aches as a child, a heating pad was very soothing. They ended after my T&A.

    Actually leeches might sound gross, they are very effective at wound debridement. I have witnessed there use in debriding an infected wound. They are specifically raised for this use, meaning sterile. The patient's barely even notice them working. They also thought it was weird, but appreciated their job.
  15. macrumors 6502

    Apr 11, 2003
    It's extremely risky - I'm an EMT in the Boston area, and during my training we had several days of material based solely on laws, privacy issues, and such. It's a mess. Medical professionals try their best with what they have, and often there's nothing they can do. For all the training they receive, they simply don't know everything about the human body. (There are, of course, medical professionals that are corrupt or just plain terrible, but those people come with any profession). A good deal of people are alive today because of our advances, and it's not right of the public to assume medicine can do magic, and start suing up a storm when it fails.
    Whenever an article such as this comes up, it's something to praise. Someone did something to improve medical diagnosis. :)
  16. thread starter macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    I'm sure that front line emergency medical service is very difficult. Thank you for your service, in this important service to our citizens. Its possible that you may have run across my wife. As a visiting nurse, if she finds an ill patients in need of hospital care she calls on EMT's for assistance. She say that many time the police and fires also responds when she calls.

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