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A Malady That Mimics Depression.
The story’s about hypothyroidism (and the process of medical diagnosis), but makes a point of much more general interest: Every day in emergency rooms, patients get inappropriate treatments because they don’t carry lists of their medications. When someone rolls in unconscious, the medication list can be the most valuable piece of diagnostic information.
I’ve become sorely aware of this in my moonlighting career managing the managed care system. Two elderly parents, each with multiple doctors, and apparently no one tasked with maintaining a coordinated, synchronized, up to date record of their medications. We’ve been generally lucky — only a couple of times has this lack yielded near disastrous results. But it seems that this should be a pretty straightforward database problem for someone to solve. [Although the new medical privacy laws in the US may make it harder to implement.]
But I digress. Point of the story: if anyone you know and love takes medication, be sure they carry an up to date list with them.