Monday, March 31, 2008

The most dangerous drug!

It seems that everyday I hear of a new lawsuit that is going after one new drug or another. I especially love the ones where attorneys are suing because the drug was used for an indication that it did not have FDA approval for. I know it is all about the money but still, come on. I think of aspirin. When it first came out it was a headache medicine, but guess what, it caused ulcers. In todays world, the aspirin producing comapany would be facing huge class actions from everybody who ever developed an ulcer regardless if they took aspirin. We would then never had found out that it protects against dry strokes and MIs. I imagine the attorneys will still catch on once they find out that aspirin is linked to increased blood loss during emergency surgery and in head trauma.

4 comments:

SnowLite said...

I know there has to be controls, checks and balances on drugs and medical activities for protection of all parties involved, but...what if pharma companies get sued so much that they stop doing research and creating newer and better drugs?

I don't really understand the process - drug trials, etc. but thank God someone is out there trying to find cures and drugs to that will cure, provide pain relief or at least prolong life for the patient.

Our aunt just died Sunday after a valiant 18 month fight with breast CA that had metastasized to her neck and groin before telling her sister (my m-i-l) that her breast was open and oozing. :(

She had a lump for a year but hoped it would go away. My m-i-l had a radical mastectomy in 96 that saved her life. The two sisters live together and so this aunt knew what could happen. Fear can be so overpowering and paralyzing!

The surgeon immediately put her in the hospital as a direct admit and he determined that they couldn't do the mastectomy because there wasn't enough skin to close it.

When I heard that...i though it was a certain death sentence that would occur quickly.

They immediately started the chemo, then radiation and as a doc you know all the juggling and treatments that go on.

I have to say that I was surprised that the treatments were working and by the following April she had the radical mastectomy and the surgeon was optimistic.

The cancer was gone from the neck, breast and groin. Wow!

She was going to get a break but then they found the cancer was in her liver. (I know that wasn't good) So, they began more treatments.

Frankly...I was astounded at how many different treatments/approaches they took. I didn't know these things were possible. She always believed them when they would say there was more they can do.

So she endured a lot, never once complained and always had a smile for someone and worried more about others.

In February they said they would give her a break but the liver CA was still in her liver. They said it's not better but it's not worse.

But then a couple of days later she started slurring her words and wasn't able to walk well.

They found she had lesions on her brain and so began with radiation again. She actually started feeling better and was walking better a couple of days after treatment began.

But by Easter she looked awful and was so weak. She went for her scheduled radiation treatment on Tuesday and wanted to give her IV fluids because she was dehydrated but she said she would drink water at home.

Evidently she wasn't capable of drinking what her body needed because that night she started vomiting and seemed paralyzed with weakness. Arrived at the ED via ambulance where they discovered she was severely dehydrated and her potassium was low.

She was admitted in Hospital but came home admitted to Hospice care on Saturday. Mercifully, she died approximately 14 hours later.

I suppose an argument could be made over quality vs quantity of life but she chose quantity.

Thank God there were drugs available that made that possible for her.

I just hate how lawsuits seem to abound everywhere!

I am sorry this is so long..just poured out and I may delete it and certainly you can if you wish too. i kind of got off track.

I'll just add that a relative in my family had such severe arthritis s/p an mvc that she had to take around the clock NSAIDS for years. One night she thought she was having a heart attack but they found that she had gotten an ulcer from the meds she had been taking.

But those meds ALSO helped her go through her daily life with minimal pain.

SeaSpray said...

You may find one of Sid Schwab's recent posts interesting- "(S)TRAINING" about reduced surgical residency hrs/opportunity to perform procedures/surgeries affecting surgical experience.

Comments also interesting.

It disturbs me as a lay person.

I hate this trend of reduced quality (in so many areas) due to time constraints because of added pressures and paperwork loads.

Something has to give and one can only hope that too many patients don't have to pay the price until it does.

SeaSpray said...

Hi...you've been tagged and invited to play. :)

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