Ramblings of an Emergency Physician in Texas
To be fair, EMS raked these out of the medicine cabinet and into a bag to bring to the ED.
No related posts.
Let me guess the chief complaint: Nausea and fatigue, right? Or diarrhea and near-syncope?
I can’t believe that…someone needs a Pharm D consult or something. I can’t think of a reason why someone would need that many meds.
More pertinent questions: How many different names were on those scrips and how many of them were 2 or more years out of date?
If you went through MY medicine cabinet, I hope none would be out of date, but between the 5 of us, we probably have 1/3 that many prescriptions.
Well, funny you should ask.
Two of the bottles were from DVM’s and were for the pets. Those were excluded.
ALL the rest were for the patient, though some were 5+ years old.
There’s a lesson here. We all (even yours truly) tend to keep/hoard our prescriptions, and we need to be more diligent about discarding them.
Well, it’s worth considering why patients hoard drugs.
Generally, I don’t hold onto drugs. But speaking for every parent who’s comforted a sick child in the middle of night I understand the urge. It’s hard for the average MD to imagine sitting up wondering if you should wake your two healthy kids and pack everyone into the car and go to the doc in a box in search of antibiotics. Or you can watch your sick kid suffer and go to the pediatrician during office hours. Neither is a great choice.
Or you can skim a few antibiotics off of every Rx to prepare for emergencies. (I know, antibiotics aren’t the magic bullet, use the whole course of pills…blah, blah. No one cares when it’s their kid.)
That’s why patients stockpile. That’s their fear.
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