Friday, 14 March 2008

Painkillers Revisited

I'm beginning to think that there is no such thing as common sense any longer. Easier access to heath care, via Walk-In Centres, Minor Injuries Units, NHSD, Out of Hours centres and soon enhanced access to GPs (i.e. making the poor sods work even longer hours than they already do!) has made the public lazy, feckless and thoughtless.

In my sphere of practice (Unscheduled care/Out of Hours) I'm ideally place to witness this phenomenon. I never cease to be amazed at the breathtaking way in which people treat the health service and how poor their own coping strategies are.

For example, painkillers - sorry to bang on about this, I've visited this area before, but...well...just... AAARRRGGHHHH!!!!! What the Fuck! Why? Why oh why? Why don't people give their kids painkillers, or take some themselves.

Recently, I saw a four year old boy with a six day old knee injury. I saw him at 10pm, yes 10pm! On a school night! He had a painful knee, it had been painful for 5 days and nights. Mum wanted it checked out because they're going on holiday at six o'clock tomorrow morning and it might be serious.

So that's how you make a holiday packing list then is it?

  • Underclothes
  • Shorts
  • T shirts
  • Wash bag
  • Warm sweater for the evenings
  • Mosquito repellant
  • Swimming costume
  • Totally unnecessary visit to the urgent care centre because I'm useless twat as a parent
  • False teeth
  • Dick Francis
Mum said 'he's been crying himself to sleep every night because his knee hurts' - as if that was supposed to impress me. I asked which painkiller he had been taking and how often he had taken it. 'Oh well, you know, with children you're never sure are you? You never know if they're really in pain do you?'

What! Shut the fuck up! Not sure if he's in pain! Oh for fucks sake!
You tell me in one breath he cries himself to sleep because it hurts, in the next you're telling me you don't know if he's in pain. And, to make it worse, you haven't given him any painkillers.

At this point in a consultation I begin to quietly, internally, weep.


Nurse Practitioners Save Lives said...

What a useless piece of trash for a parent. More concerned about her vacation than her own child's welfare. ARGH!

Anonymous said...

The silly moo has probably just realised that her holiday insurance doesn't cover 'pre-existing conditions' and she might have to pay for any health care needed abroad. That, or the concern that she'll miss boozing time on hol if the poor kid really is poorly!

EDdoc said...

I'm also weeping internally - but mainly because I know that most minor traumatic knee injuries don't cause children to cry themselves to sleep.

Cry when they put weight on the leg, yes. Cry when they take weight off, no.

However, bone sarcomas do cause night pain.

And they are more common in children. And the faster they're picked up, the less likely they are to be fatal.

I would Xray within 24h (I appreciate immediate Xray is not justified) and if this was normal, review regularly until I was sure things were settling.

Then again, I'm just a simple doctor. What the hell would I know?

Carol S. said...

I'm a Mom and have been for 11 years. Do you guys have Motrin (Ibuprofen) there? Geesh, what a loser (the Mother).