It was the middle of the night, and the patient’s intravenous (IV) line was clogged. Having refused the recommended foot amputation, the patient was receiving IV antibiotics to fight a festering infection, a complication of longstanding diabetes.
During the few minutes it took to replace the IV catheter, the patient let me know that whatever pride I held in my phlebotomy skills was unjustified and that my needle sticks only added to the misery of hospital life. Each time I was called to replace the IV during the patient’s hospital stay, I found myself thinking, “Why not just get the amputation over with?” It seemed that the patient was only delaying the inevitable. But I was wrong. The patient eventually left the hospital, foot still attached.
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Barnard ND. Ignorance of Nutrition Is No Longer Defensible. JAMA Intern Med. 2019;179(8):1021–1022. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.2273
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