Thursday, September 1, 2016


Sept 1 and meteorological fall has arrived. Astronomical fall comes with the equinox at the end of the month--Sept 22.

So NPR tackled the problem of "polypharmacy" and over medication of seniors. Given how medical practice has morphed I expect it will become a larger problem in the future. What do I mean? Well, consider a situation where a person has a GP and a specialist who treats a specific condition. Does the GP get a copy of the test results the specialist ordered and, if s/he does, can s/he understand the implications for the patient? For instance thyroid function can affect blood pressure, heart action, and other systems. Does a patient whose blood pressure spikes or heart rhythms suddenly go a bit wacky need the thyroid medication adjusted or a blood pressure med or something else? If a person goes into the hospital his/her own doctor doesn't admit them or treat them more often than not now. Instead a "hospitalist" is assigned who oversees treatment for what ever malady brought the patient in to the hospital and gathers what ever specialists are needed to address that problem. The hospitalist can oversee the treatment and, hopefully, spot potential drug interacts for what is prescribed by his team but does he know what the patient is already taking? Or what interactions to expect? There is an old saying about the number of cooks and the quality of the broth that might be applicable here.

Should this surprise anyone?

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