Posted on Dec 31, 2013

Many people use a form of glucose to replenish themselves. But they might have to reconsider this after one woman developed an infection that led to multiple amputations.

The New York Times reports on the amputation. 

One woman was having a type of glucose injected into her arm at a spa in Queens, New York when she went into septic shock and was rushed to New York Hospital of Queens. Apparently many Korean and Chinese immigrants use these types of intravenous solutions. But a new trendy fad of these types of IV injections has actually started at spas all across the city.

The Times explains how common intravenous use has become, “Though the zip glucose imparts is similar to that from consuming a sports drink, according to doctors, in China, IV solutions are dispensed so freely to healthy people that there have been calls by the government to halt the practice and stark warnings of IV overuse there from international health organizations.”

In New York many pharmacies are actually selling IV bags over the counter.

“Off-duty nurses go door-to-door offering IV pick-me-ups, and there are private walk-in clinics where, patients say, for less than $100 they get a drip hooked up on request, no questions asked. Patients and staff at clinics and pharmacies described the drips and how they are given, but on a visit to the clinic where Ms. Jang said she received her IV, a reporter was forbidden from seeing the room beyond the drawn curtain where the drips were administered,” according to The Times.

The use of these IV bags has become a serious health concern, especially in New York. Numerous people turn to IV and become hooked on it or do not seek proper treatment for their actual health issue, because they assume the IV solved it. One doctor from a nonprofit health clinic in Manhattan told The Times, “Doctors have leeway to decide when a drip should be used, but prescribing it to, say, take the edge off jet lag is not medically indicated.”

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Gerry Oginski
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