Readers Respond: Antibiotics for Diverticulitis, Fecal Occult Blood Testing, and Deaf Patient Considerations

Many of us do (prescribe antibiotics for diverticulitis). There is evidence that it may be safer and just as effective. One pill instead of two may also increase compliance, and, metronidazole can be a tough pill to take for some people.

Here’s an example of just one paper relating to this issue.

—Will Grad, MD

I appreciate Dr. Radecki’s thoughtful article. However, point-of-care testing looking for small amounts of occult GI blood are not really on point in emergency practice. EPs occasionally are asked to evaluate a chief complaint of black stools. As there are multiple causes of black stools, a point of care test that can reliably identify, or rule out, blood as the cause of the black stool is helpful and may help avoid some further testing. The real question then, is what’s the sensitivity and specificity of point-of-care testing of black stools for blood.

—Joseph Wood, MD

Thank you for this review on this important subject. One caveat is that not all deaf and hard of hearing sign; some speak English and rely on lip reading, which is eliminated with masks. Consider taking off your mask if you can or using clear masks.

See related op-ed I wrote about my wife’s experiences in health care.

—Robert Allen, MD