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Monday, August 10, 2015

A Better Medicine


A 2 year-old was ill with vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and a rash. That sounded bad.

I know a pediatrician who makes housecalls, and I considered sending him. But the news came from the guest’s travel insurer, and their announcements tend to be dramatic. I decided to go but to call him if matters seemed complicated.

The guest greeted me at the door with a cheerful toddler at his side. That, to my relief, was the patient. He still had diarrhea, and a spotty rash was present but fading.

Suffering a respiratory infection, the child had seen the family doctor and received the traditional antibiotic. For some reason, instead of amoxicillin (the world’s most popular antibiotic for people who don’t need an antibiotic), he had prescribed Augmentin, excellent when necessary but a legendary stomach upsetter.

The parents took for granted that the solution was a better medicine and something for his rash and diarrhea. But this was a situation where stopping everything works best.  

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