The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has issued a warning about a surge in new patients for cold medicine technicians.
The agency issued the advisory after a recent study showed the rate of new cold medicine treatments was up 7 percent.
Michigan Health and Hospitals has seen a significant increase in the number of cold medicine therapy requests, said Dr. Lisa McBeth, the agency’s medical director.
McBeseth said she is concerned about the increased number of requests because she has been contacted by cold medicine specialists across the state.
“The fact that we have to go back and look at a number of different patients, especially in the first half of the year, is concerning,” she said.
The Michigan Health Department said it received 1,822 cold medicine requests in the fourth quarter, up from 821 in the third quarter.
It said the number has increased significantly since last year.
In addition to the increase in requests, there has been a spike in patients who are treated with cold medicines, including colds and allergies.
Michigan Health and the Michigan Department Of Public Health are both urging people to avoid using cold medicine as a pain reliever or as a diuretic because of the increased risk of blood clots and respiratory failure.
The advisory also advises against the use of medications such as prednisone or ibuprofen.
The Michigan Department also is urging doctors and nurses to use the most current testing guidelines when treating patients with colds or allergies.
Rick Snyder said the increased demand for cold medicines from patients is a sign of a changing health care system.
“It’s really a challenge to get people to go to a hospital that has the most advanced technology that they’re going to be able to administer,” he said.
But Dr. Mark D. Bostrom, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard Center for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, said there are some things to be thankful for in this new environment.
“There is a great deal of progress in treating colds, but it’s important to note that the cold medicine industry is still in a period of transition, which is a good thing,” he told ABC News.
Bostrom also noted that many cold medicine clinics are closed or are operating at reduced capacity due to the new regulatory requirements.
For more information, visit http://www.michigandhospitals.gov/cold-care/templates/medical-assurance/medicalassurance-templates-information-temporary.aspx.
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