Posted by: Christopher Maloney, Naturopathic Doctor | October 29, 2011

Hospitalized for Bronchitis? Only An Osmond.

Marie Osmond holding a custom made LSR/Steinbe...

Image via Wikipedia

I just talked to a normal person tonight who’s had bronchitis for two weeks (you know who you are and we love you).  At no point was she “rushed to the hospital” for the upper respiratory infection.

But when Marie Osmond got scratchy while singing, evidently this was a medical emergency.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a normal person go to the E.R. over a scratchy voice.  It points to a very real difference in care for different people.

The initial response is that Marie Osmond is receiving preferential care, and she is.  Someone is paying about five grand for her bronchitis.  But is that preferential care improving her health?

Probably not.  Since bronchitis is likely to be a viral infection, chances are that she’s not getting anything for her E.R. trip.  She might be worse off because a hospital E.R. is a great place to pick up a secondary bacterial infection.  It’s also more likely that any bacteria she picks up are antibiotic resistant.  Because she’s got great insurance, chances are pretty good they did extra testing that wouldn’t have been done if she were Joe Schmoe, and she might receive more medication than the average bear.

But despite the likelihood that Marie Osmond isn’t likely to have received much benefit from her E.R. journey, the fact remains that she was taken there when most of us would not be.  I have no issue with her receiving care, but it occurs to me that we live in a society where some of us matter a lot more than others.  It’s not a very pretty picture of a society that would like to appear egalitarian.

What would the rest of us do?  Well, gargling with salt water is a start.  Maybe some nice herbal teas to loosen up the laryngeal folds.  Have a look at my preventative page for colds and flus for a complete treatment plan for the rest of us who aren’t famous.


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