Letters

Wrong medicine

Written By : Kelisiano. Poepoe Flagstaff, Suva. Last Friday (June 20) morning my two-year-old nephew was seen at the CWMH pediatric general outpatients. He was referred by the staff at
24 Jun 2008 12:00

Written By : Kelisiano. Poepoe Flagstaff, Suva. Last Friday (June 20) morning my two-year-old nephew was seen at the CWMH pediatric general outpatients.
He was referred by the staff at the outpatient triage area to be seen by the doctor. The doctor was told that my nephew has a left ear ache and that the posterior part of the ear lobe was inflamed. She checked the ear with an ottoscope and then quickly wrote a prescription.
We enquired if she saw anything in the ear canal and she said “it may be infected.” She then told us to go to the pediatric pharmacy without even explaining what the medications were for. We assumed it was for the ear problem. My nephew received a stat oral dose of Vitamin A, two dispensed medications labeled “Mebendazole 100mg tablets to be taken twice daily for three days and a Chloramphenicol ear drop to apply three times a day”.
The label on the prescribed medications dispensed to us also mentioned the name of the doctor. But then there was a reference in brackets after her name saying “Nurse Practitioner.” Upon arriving home I immediately researched the function of the prescribed medication online and found that Mebendazole is an anti-worm medication that eliminates worms in the gut such as hookworms and there is no indication of its use for ear canal or ear lobe inflammation/infection. This drug is also prescribed for older children and adults but not for two years and younger.
Apparently the anti-worm drug for such young age-group is called Pyrantel. Chloramphenicol of course seems to be the right antibiotic for ear wall/canal infection.
I wonder why did this “vuniwai” or “nurse practitioner” prescribed my nephew an anti-worm drug that is meant for older people and has nothing to do with the ear infection?
Thankfully unwired gave me the chance to get a quick research prior to giving the tablets to my nephew.
I hope the pediatric unit administration make its staff wear clearly labeled identifications so that we, the public, know who is medically helping our children – a doctor or a nurse practitioner. There’s a vast difference between the two and I for one needed my nephew to be seen by a qualified doctor in a divisional level hospital.




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