Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Help! Its Swine Flu!!!

Nothing annoys me more than bad journalism, especially when it is in relation to the NHS. Maybe I have a one sided view?.... Yes there is some very bad practice. Yes, there are many faults and improvements that need to be made but why is it that you never hear anything good? We work so bloody hard! Why is it that you never get any thanks?

So today when I read this article "Swine Flu Kills 'Fit and Healthy' Woman" in my local paper it got my blood boiling and I wrote My first official complaint letter!......

(Interestingly this picture was removed from the Internet article!)

The picture in your article of the Coroners report is quite clear in the information that it gives in relation to this ladies death. Sad as it was, it is clearly documented as pulmonary embolus complicated by swine flu, not swine flu itself.

As stated on the NHS website regarding swine flu “For most people, the illness is mild and self-limiting. The virus has caused severe illness in a minority of people, most of whom had an existing serious condition.” Therefore your Headline "Swine flu kills 'fit and healthy ' woman" is incorrect.

As a medical professional I would like to point out that if you had effectively researched Pulmonary Embolism prior to publication of your article you would have easily discovered that Pulmonary Embolus can cause sudden death in previously healthy individuals of all ages. Also individuals who have been on long haul flights and take the contraceptive pill (as this lady possibly did) are at a higher risk of developing this condition. However, the article published in today’s paper does not at any point reflect this.

I feel that it is journalist’s responsibility to present an accurate and objective account of the situation. However, this articles miss information is the reason numerous anxious individuals with the common cold will undoubtedly present in our local Accident & Emergency department causing a back log on already stretched service.

I feel as a Newspaper that distributed throughout the city that the Manchester Evening News has been irresponsible in its publication of this article and has therefore unhelpfully contributed to public panic in relation to swine flu. Yes the death of such a young lady was sad, but surely it would have been more helpful to advise people with pre-existing medical conditions to seek medical advice, not anyone with flu like symptoms.

Finally let me ask you this....How would you feel if you or a sick relative were made to wait hours to see a doctor who was already tied up dealing with a hundred people with the incurable common cold?

Rant over.

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  1. The media love causing moral panic, it's absolutely pathetic.
    A few weeks ago my, now ex bf was sent home from work (he works in a high school) as he wasn't feeling well and that week it was in our local paper it said that 'An IT Technician has Swine Flu'. He didn't but loads of parents kept their children off school.
    It's madness!

  2. Em's I've just been catching up on your blog! V proud of you girl for writing a snotty complaint letter, journalists in this country is responsible for scare mongering and should be ashamed of themselves! And having so many friends working in the NHS it bugs me to hell the press you get! xxx


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