Last Monday morning a woman came to Trinity Free Clinic complaining of pain in her ankle. Her ankle was clearly injured and after examining her further, it was decided that she not only had injured her ankle but had an infection that had started in her ankle and was spreading up her leg.
Before coming to Trinity Free Clinic, the patient was urgently trying to find medication to calm her infection and sooth her pain but couldn’t afford to go to a doctor or pay for a prescription. The cheapest option available to her was to get medication from a veterinarian. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, “…many of the drugs used in veterinary medicine are the same as those used in people”. So what was the problem? Even though the ingredients in drugs for animals are often the same as those for humans, there are other factors that set apart animal’s medications from human’s medications. These include differences in dosage, inactive ingredients used, and the proportions of inactive ingredients to active ingredients. Additionally, the veterinarian couldn’t protect the patient against any negative drug interactions between her current medications and the new one being given to her. Any of these reasons could have caused her infection especially when paired with a lack of instruction on how to care for her foot and ankle.
After finding Trinity Free Clinic and getting examined by our physicians, the patient was immediately sent to the ER. There she was told that if she had waited any longer to find adequate help, her foot would have been amputated. Luckily, Trinity Free Clinic was able to help her get the care and support she needed. Plus, her foot is set for a full recovery!