24 Year Old Man Dies Of Toothache

  • metta

    Posts: 39104

    Sep 08, 2011 12:01 AM GMT


    http://thinkprogress.org/yglesias/2011/09/03/311635/man-dies-of-toothache/
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    Sep 08, 2011 2:12 AM GMT
    This happens more frequently than one might think. And, it doesn't just happen to 'poor' people. Some just ignore oral problems because they don't think it's important.
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    Sep 08, 2011 2:19 AM GMT
    One of the comments: "At least he died free and unshackled by the chains of socialism. Makes me proud to be an American."
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    Sep 08, 2011 3:00 AM GMT
    I'm kinda tired of people blaming the system. You go to the ER and everything is free for you. Yeah you may get a bill, but no one pays the bill anyway. So stop the crap about not getting healthcare in America. Everyone already has free healthcare if they want it. It's called the Emergency Department. I work there. I see it all the time. Stop with the sob stories and take responsibility for your own health. I'm not responsible for your health just as much as some stranger on the street is. YOU are the only person who can ultimately make sure YOU live a healthy life.

    end rant.
  • nanidesukedo

    Posts: 1036

    Sep 08, 2011 3:10 AM GMT
    morpheus85 saidI'm kinda tired of people blaming the system. You go to the ER and everything is free for you. Yeah you may get a bill, but no one pays the bill anyway. So stop the crap about not getting healthcare in America. Everyone already has free healthcare if they want it. It's called the Emergency Department. I work there. I see it all the time. Stop with the sob stories and take responsibility for your own health. I'm not responsible for your health just as much as some stranger on the street is. YOU are the only person who can ultimately make sure YOU live a healthy life.

    end rant.



    yeah...see...unfortunately that doesn't work for the middle class people. Rich people can afford it, lower class get it for free...middle class people still have to pay. As someone who works in the ER as well, I can assure you that the bill doesn't come cheap because everyone practices "defensive" medicine. So, for all those people who get it for "free," you pay extra. The middle class also pays extra for inappropriate CT scans and lab work because people are so friggin litigious in America...Everyone is so afraid of being sued because of assholes looking to make a cheap buck that the cost of a visit to the ED (for those of us that pay it) is insane. I'm guessing that, since you work in an ED, you work at an academic institution as well? If this is the case, you are seeing a population that is heavily skewed and most indigent care tends to be provided by academic institutions....the ED is definitely not free care
  • wellwell

    Posts: 2265

    Sep 08, 2011 3:19 AM GMT
    Scruffypup saidOne of the comments: "At least he died free and unshackled by the chains of socialism. Makes me proud to be an American."



    yup
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    Sep 08, 2011 3:20 AM GMT
    nanidesukedo said

    yeah...see...unfortunately that doesn't work for the middle class people. Rich people can afford it, lower class get it for free...middle class people still have to pay. As someone who works in the ER as well, I can assure you that the bill doesn't come cheap because everyone practices "defensive" medicine. So, for all those people who get it for "free," you pay extra. The middle class also pays extra for inappropriate CT scans and lab work because people are so friggin litigious in America...Everyone is so afraid of being sued because of assholes looking to make a cheap buck that the cost of a visit to the ED (for those of us that pay it) is insane. I'm guessing that, since you work in an ED, you work at an academic institution as well? If this is the case, you are seeing a population that is heavily skewed and most indigent care tends to be provided by academic institutions....the ED is definitely not free care


    I know it's not free care. But to MOST people that utilize the ED it is. Trust me, I completely understand the ins and outs of the ED, insurances, Medicaid, Medicare, costs of tests and labs, etc. I've worked multiple jobs in the ED and hospital before becoming a physician. And the biggest problem is EMTALA + entitled people + sue-happy people in America.
  • BIG_N_TALL

    Posts: 2190

    Sep 08, 2011 3:21 AM GMT
    This is a total shame and an embarrassment for both healthcare and American society.
  • nanidesukedo

    Posts: 1036

    Sep 08, 2011 3:21 AM GMT
    I agree...what I'm personally seeing, interestingly enough, is a large number of middle class people without health insurance for various reasons with terrible health problems from chronic and preventable diseases. The lower class has "free" and available health care, while the middle class can't afford to see doctors when they need to...it's a very strange dynamic that's forming (one which i am personally affected by).
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    Sep 08, 2011 3:25 AM GMT
    nanidesukedo saidI agree...what I'm personally seeing, interestingly enough, is a large number of middle class people without health insurance for various reasons with terrible health problems from chronic and preventable diseases. The lower class has "free" and available health care, while the middle class can't afford to see doctors when they need to...it's a very strange dynamic that's forming (one which i am personally affected by).


    I agree. The government is really good at sticking it to the working class. We make "too much" to qualify for anything, but not enough to pay for the things we need in times of turmoil. Whereas the other classes can pretty much have whatever they want, to an extent, without working for it.
  • BIG_N_TALL

    Posts: 2190

    Sep 08, 2011 3:27 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said
    morpheus85 saidI'm kinda tired of people blaming the system. You go to the ER and everything is free for you. Yeah you may get a bill, but no one pays the bill anyway. So stop the crap about not getting healthcare in America. Everyone already has free healthcare if they want it. It's called the Emergency Department. I work there. I see it all the time. Stop with the sob stories and take responsibility for your own health. I'm not responsible for your health just as much as some stranger on the street is. YOU are the only person who can ultimately make sure YOU live a healthy life.

    end rant.


    But he did go to the ER. He was also not informed that his infection could have spread to his brain. I wonder if the people working at the ER (who treated this man) could have warned him of the potential dangers of not treating his particular situation.


    I'd be curious to know what the prices where for the medications prescribed for him, and whether the ER staff consulted him regarding whether the medications were generic or 'name brand.' I wonder if any of that played a factor in him choosing the pain killers over the antibiotics.
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    Sep 08, 2011 3:27 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said

    But he did go to the ER. He was also not informed that his infection could have spread to his brain. I wonder if the people working at the ER (who treated this man) could have warned him of the potential dangers of not treating his particular situation.


    We don't know the whole story, just what some journalist wrote. I can pretty much guarantee that whoever saw him in the ER told him of the possible dangers, especially since it's all about CYA down there. And he probably got at least one dose of antibiotics in the ER while he was there.
  • danisnotstr8

    Posts: 2579

    Sep 08, 2011 3:28 AM GMT
    nanidesukedo saidI agree...what I'm personally seeing, interestingly enough, is a large number of middle class people without health insurance for various reasons with terrible health problems from chronic and preventable diseases. The lower class has "free" and available health care, while the middle class can't afford to see doctors when they need to...it's a very strange dynamic that's forming (one which i am personally affected by).


    <------ you're looking at one of those middle class guys... an accomplished teacher and musician whose combination of careers (even working at a public school) somehow doesn't find me deserving of health insurance. It sucks. When I get sick I just hope and pray that it doesn't get bad.
  • nanidesukedo

    Posts: 1036

    Sep 08, 2011 3:30 AM GMT
    morpheus85 said
    nanidesukedo saidI agree...what I'm personally seeing, interestingly enough, is a large number of middle class people without health insurance for various reasons with terrible health problems from chronic and preventable diseases. The lower class has "free" and available health care, while the middle class can't afford to see doctors when they need to...it's a very strange dynamic that's forming (one which i am personally affected by).


    I agree. The government is really good at sticking it to the working class. We make "too much" to qualify for anything, but not enough to pay for the things we need in times of turmoil. Whereas the other classes can pretty much have whatever they want, to an extent, without working for it.


    Personal example: I was born with a very rare congenital heart disease (like...uber rare. Back when I was born with it, no one with it lived lol). Growing up, everything was hunky-dory as I had my parent's health insurance. The day I turned 23, I was kicked off my parent's health insurance and basically told I was un-insurable due to my congenital heart defect. So, I went for about 3 years, not seeing my cardiologist (whom I'm supposed to see every year to monitor for changes in my valves and to assess for hypertrophy). I had to save...and I fuck you not...$1,560 for a routine cardiology appointment that lasted all of 45 minutes (included a basic echocardiogram). Yeah...sucks that what little money I am able to save up, seeing as I'm finishing up medical school and haven't been able to work for 4 years, has to all go to necessary care....and even then it's delayed way beyond what's medically reasonable as that is how long it takes to save up for it.
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    Sep 08, 2011 3:32 AM GMT
    Alpha1 said

    I'd be curious to know what the prices where for the medications prescribed for him, and whether the ER staff consulted him regarding whether the medications were generic or 'name brand.' I wonder if any of that played a factor in him choosing the pain killers over the antibiotics.


    True. Most common antibiotics are $4, some are free at Schnucks, and some are very expensive. However, it is MY responsibility as a patient to let someone know "Hey, I can't afford this...is there any way I can get assistance with this?" As a patient, I shouldn't expect everyone involved in my care to be mind-readers. In America, the patient is empowered to make decisions for his/herself. It didn't used to be like that, but it is now. Paternalistic medicine was seen as a bad thing, remember?
  • nanidesukedo

    Posts: 1036

    Sep 08, 2011 3:42 AM GMT
    morpheus85 said
    Alpha1 said

    I'd be curious to know what the prices where for the medications prescribed for him, and whether the ER staff consulted him regarding whether the medications were generic or 'name brand.' I wonder if any of that played a factor in him choosing the pain killers over the antibiotics.


    True. Most common antibiotics are $4, some are free at Schnucks, and some are very expensive. However, it is MY responsibility as a patient to let someone know "Hey, I can't afford this...is there any way I can get assistance with this?" As a patient, I shouldn't expect everyone involved in my care to be mind-readers. In America, the patient is empowered to make decisions for his/herself. It didn't used to be like that, but it is now. Paternalistic medicine was seen as a bad thing, remember?


    Furthermore, the purpose of the ED is to move bodies and move them fast. They, sadly, don't have time to play social worker...Now, if only we could improve the primary care system in this country, maybe the ED wouldn't be so overrun with jackass complaints like headaches and sore throats...
  • BIG_N_TALL

    Posts: 2190

    Sep 08, 2011 3:44 AM GMT
    morpheus85 said
    Alpha1 said

    I'd be curious to know what the prices where for the medications prescribed for him, and whether the ER staff consulted him regarding whether the medications were generic or 'name brand.' I wonder if any of that played a factor in him choosing the pain killers over the antibiotics.


    True. Most common antibiotics are $4, some are free at Schnucks, and some are very expensive. However, it is MY responsibility as a patient to let someone know "Hey, I can't afford this...is there any way I can get assistance with this?" As a patient, I shouldn't expect everyone involved in my care to be mind-readers. In America, the patient is empowered to make decisions for his/herself. It didn't used to be like that, but it is now. Paternalistic medicine was seen as a bad thing, remember?


    People should be pro-active in dealing their healthcare costs, however it is the healthcare provider who writes the scripts. From my experience and observation, I have yet to see a single healthcare provider ask if any of my family members or I preferred generic medications over name brand prescriptions.

    Most of the time, I am the one pushing my family members to consult with the MDs for generic versions that can work as well as name brand medications because they just assume the MD is making a practical choice when it comes to medication costs.

    With regard to the article, this all comes back to the inequity of healthcare in the United States where it is all tied to employer-based healthcare insurance. If the man mentioned in the article was in employed or had access to dental or health insurance, he may not have been forced to chose between the antibiotics and pain killers.

    In all likelihood this entire situation could have been averted by a primary healthcare provider consultation or a trip to the dentist... there again it comes back to the issue of healthcare access and costs.

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    Sep 08, 2011 3:45 AM GMT
    nanidesukedo said

    Furthermore, the purpose of the ED is to move bodies and move them fast. They, sadly, don't have time to play social worker...Now, if only we could improve the primary care system in this country, maybe the ED wouldn't be so overrun with jackass complaints like headaches and sore throats...


    THIS. And have patients actually GO to their primary care docs, rather than getting impatient because they have 'better things to do than sit in an office and wait for a half hour'.
  • nanidesukedo

    Posts: 1036

    Sep 08, 2011 3:47 AM GMT
    morpheus85 said
    nanidesukedo said

    Furthermore, the purpose of the ED is to move bodies and move them fast. They, sadly, don't have time to play social worker...Now, if only we could improve the primary care system in this country, maybe the ED wouldn't be so overrun with jackass complaints like headaches and sore throats...


    THIS. And have patients actually GO to their primary care docs, rather than getting impatient because they have 'better things to do than sit in an office and wait for a half hour'.


    Your ED must be heaven if people go there because they don't have to wait. People who go to my ED who aren't crashing sit there for lie 3 or 4 hours. lol.
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    Sep 08, 2011 4:08 AM GMT
    This is a deadly combination: sub-standard first-world health care, stupid man. A smart man would have found a way to survive. Affordable health care would have allowed this man to live, stupid or not.

    So, as a neighborly society we're faced with some alternatives:
    1. Fix stupid people. You know, with better education. Payoff: great
    2. Fix health care. You know, with a public option health insurance plan that aggressively negotiates better health care rates. Payoff: great
    3. Let stupid people die. Payoff: most likely nil, probably detrimental to society
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    Sep 08, 2011 4:41 AM GMT
    Scruffypup saidOne of the comments: "At least he died free and unshackled by the chains of socialism. Makes me proud to be an American."


    This guy is an idealistic, republican, douchebag! Capitalism can only be truly successful in a world that is not greedy enough to take advantage of people like this poor guy who obviously was mishandled by our sub-optimal health care system! America ranks in the 30's for health care people! There is something wrong here!
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Sep 08, 2011 4:46 AM GMT
    If he went to a Caholic or Christian hospital they would not have denied him proper care. Sad story, happens all too often.
  • BIG_N_TALL

    Posts: 2190

    Sep 08, 2011 4:53 AM GMT
    mickeytopogigio saidThis is a deadly combination: sub-standard first-world health care, stupid man. A smart man would have found a way to survive. Affordable health care would have allowed this man to live, stupid or not.



    I do not think anyone can say with certitude that this man was "stupid." He most likely had little, if any, knowledge of human anatomy and microbiology. He in all likelihood saw this as an temporary, non-life threatening issue. Being misinformed and stupid are two very different venues.
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    Sep 08, 2011 4:54 AM GMT
    From hauling my parents into ER's and going myself a few times, I have seen ER's issue prescriptions, but never seen them fill one. Buying the medication is up to the patient. If you can't afford it, that's the end.

    Personally, when I've been broke, I've sent for illegal generic drugs from India. It takes two or three weeks to get them, by which time someone with an acute infection might die. (I keep a small stash in my freezer.) Unfortunately, most people probably don't have the skills to order the correct stuff. Rather than helping, the US government cracks down on this pipeline for no purpose whatsoever except to preserve obscene profits of big pharma, and the little empires of FDA bureaucrats.

    And although relatively healthy, I have been seriously mis-diagnosed three times and had the wrong surgery once. Really, those fuckers are payed way, way too much.
  • dancedancekj

    Posts: 1761

    Sep 08, 2011 7:34 AM GMT
    Saw this article a couple of days ago and it made me sad.

    First off, to anyone who reads this, realize that the oral cavity is connected directly to the brain and bloodstream (it could save you or another person's life, as in this case). Infected teeth can and sometimes will (as in this case) release bacteria into the bloodstream that can cause infections in the brain. There are studies linking dental diseases gingivitis and periodontitis to endocarditis (bacterial buildups of the heart and vessels).

    Also, antibiotics + ibuprofen usually does more for pain management than narcotics will. That is something I tell my patients very often.

    It is really awful to me as a dentist. I don't know if I would have done anything differently in my situation however. At dental school (which is far cheaper than most private practices) I believe the exam and the x-ray would have cost ~$35.00 for diagnosis, and a prescription for antibiotics would have been given. I am not sure if the discussion regarding the potential complications regarding infected/abscessed teeth would have occurred however, but I would have warned the patient that if abnormal swelling started occurring to call me ASAP.

    I don't think I would blame either the dentist or the ER for what happened necessarily. There is only so much you can do to a point I believe. I just wish that he was able to find a job that had dental insurance. I wish that Medicaid would pay more so more dentists would be more willing to see them. I wish that the man didn't have to choose between antibiotics and pain meds. And most of all, I wish that little girl still had her father.