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Tue Jan 16, 2018, 05:30 PM

Non-compliance is killing my patients. [View all]

I had a patient come in today with severe gangrene on his right hand, secondary to frostbite he suffered on New Year's Day. He's been shuttling back and forth between emergency rooms, and resolutely refusing to comply with their recommended treatment plans. He was referred to ortho surgery for amputation of the affected fingers, and he didn't follow-up. He went to a hospital across town. Same thing: he refused to follow their recommended treatment plan. Finally, he came in to the clinic today with his hand looking like a claw from a monster movie. I read the reports from every medical facility he visited, and implored him to present to the orthopedist for treatment.

He refused.

Just now, I found out that an old patient of mine with a history of colon cancer and a colectomy has been diagnosed with a recurrence of the cancer. It's pretty bad and he's passing whole blood all the time. His care coordinator confirms that the hospital referred him to oncology, and that he refuses to go. He's walking around in an uncommunicative daze. He wouldn't even talk to me; he just wandered out of the clinic even after I begged him to stay.

Today is not going well...

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