Wednesday, 30 December 2009

A reluctance to intervene

As we approach the end I have been thinking back over the two visits that I made to the doctor this year and I will share the December visit with you. I didn't see the doctor. I saw the nurse who syringed my ears. I have had this done three or four times in my life so I knew the ropes. I also knew that one moment I could hear nothing and the next I could hear the slightest noise.

Wax is there for a useful purpose. It helps keep the ear dry and prevent infection. So there is a risk involved by syringing ears. You can cause infection by removing wax and if there is a perforation in the ear an infection could develop in the inner ear. Risks cause reluctance to intervene and over the years this work has been confined to those who hold an appropriate certificate. Around twenty years ago I went from GP to occupational health nurse to GP to occupational health nurse to have my ears syringed. Apart from my time and that of the GP and nurse there was a lot of paperwork.

All this extra work comes about because someone has made a claim when something has gone wrong. I could give you the details about the reluctance to carry out my December syringing but I'll save you the energy of reading about it. What is clear is that everyone is so worried about litigation that everything takes so much longer.

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