Saturday, November 17, 2007


Ack! This evening we had a 17 year old kid with a fever come into our E.R.

The Doc ordered a spinal tap first, and then serum tests for:

1. HIV
2. Syphilis
3. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
4. Epstein-Barr Virus
5. Eastern and Western Equine Encephalitis
6. West Nile
7. Lyme Disease
After the spinal tap and after packaging all that esoteric stuff to send to our reference lab, the E.R. added on a rapid test for mononucleosis.

Guess who has mono? Who says defensive medicine isn't fun?


Kwach said...

I used to think it was just the occasional young, inexperienced doctor who jumped to the conclusion that every fever, cough and sniffle signaled the onset of some rare, tropical disease or the growth of some life-threatening neoplasm, but now I think they're all nuts.

Here's a tiny clue for all you go-getter doctors out there ...

Look for the MOST likely cause first, not last.

Kids get stomach aches, earaches, headaches and fevers, most of which are benign. Before you start reaching for the spinal tap equipment, ask their MOTHER what SHE thinks might be wrong.

Had a doctor listened to me when my son was two years old he could have been spared the sweat chloride test for pulmonary fibrosis AND the head and neck x-rays (after which they diagnosed cancerous tumors growing down his toddler throat) and skipped directly to the ENT I finally defied them all and consulted on my own. The one who took out his ginormous tonsils and adenoids.

Suzanne said...

Thus medical care, although many people have no access to it, is a significant and growing part of our GDP.