It seems that perfectly healthy people are flooding emergency rooms - some with their only worry being that they ate pork last week. Some just have sniffles or allergies. It’s endangering those who are truly sick that are going to the E.R. for real emergencies.
I’m not sure the behind the scenes workings here - maybe Asanta or Macgyver could help me to understand. If someone walks in and is obviously not sick, the triage nurse finds no fever, no cough, or that someone came in complaining of just eating pork, can they be sent home or is the hospital obligated to have a doctor examine them for liability reasons?
I would have a huge sign at the door that said “Here for Swine Flu? No fever, no cough, no service.” OK joking, but at least a big sign printed up with F.A.Q.‘s on H1N1. Such as in big letters “YOU CANNOT CATCH THE FLU FROM EATING PORK PRODUCTS.” That might save a lot of trouble.
Although the media is doing a good job of scaring people to death on this, I place a tiny bit of the blame on the individuals. If you’re unsure of something, how hard is it to Google “CDC” for accurate info? If you don’t have a computer, call the local health department to ask the question. I’m sure most have a pre-recorded message with facts about the flu at this time. The number is in the blue pages in every phone book.
Failing that, how difficult is it to call your family practitioner and ask a question before freaking out and going to the E.R.? I call the pediatrician and ask to speak with the nurse at least twice a year for various illness. Usually I say “here are his symptoms, do I need to bring him in? Most of the time she says “No, sounds like a bug we’ve been seeing all week. Nothing you can do for it, keep him rested and hydrated, and give him children’s Motrin for the fever.” Couple of weeks ago it was Fifth’s Disease going around. Saved me a trip to the doctor, an 20 minute wait in a waiting room of sneezing kids, and a $40 co-pay by calling ahead of time.