Thursday, 27 August 2009

How to diagnose the flu

Common sense on the flu from a letter to the Daily Telegraph [hat tip Dr Shaun Holt]:

“When I was a student nurse back in the sensible Seventies, we were taught a simple diagnosis for those with influenza. If there is a $10 note on the floor and the patient can get out of bed to pick it up, then he does not have flu, simply a common cold.
Similarly, anyone collecting his own Tamiflu from the pharmacy should be sent away empty-handed.”

If only such common sense was still so common.


  1. I had the flu a couple of months ago, and indeed, I could not have got out of bed to pick up the $10. My wife tried to go and get me some Tamiflu, but the pharmacy were just at that moment being "audited" to make sure they were not selling Tamiflu to those not needing it. She was told that she could not have any and that I should come to the pharmacy to get it. It made me wanna scream! There was no way I was going to do that. I was ILL.

    Barstards who run pharmac, medsafe, etc.

  2. Hmm, I have some experience with this influenza. So far it has lived up to my expectation that it will behave like any other flu. A is A. Flu is Flu. I have nursed quite a few patients who have tested positive for H1N1 at Starship Childrens' hospital. A minority get too sick to get up and pick up the the $10. Some get moderately ill but well enough to walk up from the car to the ward. Some were quite well - we only knew they had the flu because we were testing anyone that sneezed.


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