Like many children, my little ones are so averse to going to medical establishments, be it a clinic or hospital.
In fact each time we have to go to see a doctor, we have to have a discussion about which medical establishment they would prefer over the other. Believe you me I am a bit taken aback by the detail to which they describe which hospital is “bad” and which one is the lesser evil.
That is to say that, generally, they have come to the conclusion that all hospitals are out to cause them pain. However, there are also some which they can be convinced to accommodate after some little cajoling.
Part of the reason they dislike some establishments actually revolves around concerns that as a parent I find quite valid. Take for instance, the increasing trend of inserting intravenous lines or cannulation to dispense antibiotics or any other medication.
If the patient has a serious disease, the administration of a drug intravenously may have aantages over oral drug administration in terms of reducing mortality. This is perceived to be the case in patients with life-threatening bacterial infections.
Although the use of intravenous antibiotics may often be indicated in patients with serious infections, it is common practice in some hospitals to start intravenous antibiotics irrespective of the severity of the infection. Oral antibiotics in most of the patients admitted to hospital with bacterial infections are just as effective as intravenous antibiotics and have the added aantages of ease of administration, reduced labour and administration costs, and reduced hospital stay.
There is no doubt that many intravenous lines are inserted unnecessarily. In a study of almost 1,000 patients in general medical beds, ‘idle’ intravenous cannulae (a cannula not used for 48 hours or with no prophylactic indication) were identified in 33 per cent of patients. A French study also found that 28 per cent of peripheral cannulae inserted in an emergency department were ‘unjustified.’
My children’s nightmare, and I believe other children’s too, are the selection of a vein, as it is often difficult to identify one. My children have now zeroed in on to a few places where the medical practitioners there are able to identify one quickly and less painfully than in other places.
That now often determines their choice of which hospital to go to. In places where they have had nasty experiences with the insertion of a cannula, no amount of convincing will get them there.
My biggest dilemma as a parent is how we can determine whether the patient needs a cannula inserted or not. For me as a lay parent, I believe that there are many other routes for administration of drugs, which may be safer and more convenient than the intravenous route, and these should be considered in all cases. It is only then that our little ones will dispel the fear of hospital visits and not abhor them like the plague.
In fact, recently, my sons were joking about how they were going to round up some doctors and inject them with big cannulae so that they too appreciate how the little ones feel!
Source : The Observer