Little yellow cold pills

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: (Published 02 December 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:1510
  1. George Dunea, attending physician
  1. Cook County Hospital, Chicago, USA

    Treating the common cold can be a messy affair because patients expect to be cured when they come to see you and eye you suspiciously when you fail to cure them, wondering if you might be incompetent, uncaring, or spending your weekends fishing instead of taking refresher courses. You could of course get them off your back with a shot of penicillin, which borders on malpractice, or order computed tomography, an idiotic but interesting approach because over 70% have variable occlusion, pneumatisation, or thickening of the mucosae of the upper nasal airways and sinuses [N Engl J Med 330:25]. You could also routinely measure nasal mucociliary clearance and airway resistance by singlenostril active anterior …

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