Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/5/2011 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

24-year-old unemployed father elected to buy pain killers in lieu of antibiotics

In an especially shameful episode that highlights the plight of those in the U.S. without medical insurance, a 24-year-old father has died from a wisdom tooth infection. Unable to afford both pain killers and antibiotics, Kyle Willis of Cincinnati, Ohio died after the infection spread.

Kyle Willis, who was unemployed and did not have medical insurance, purchased $3 pain medication instead of the $27 antibiotics because he couldn't afford it. The decision cost him his life as his wisdom tooth infection spread to his brain, killing him.

Kyle Willis, who was unemployed and did not have medical insurance, purchased $3 pain medication instead of the $27 antibiotics because he couldn't afford it. The decision cost him his life as his wisdom tooth infection spread to his brain, killing him.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/5/2011 (3 years ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Health insurance, dentistry, infection, antibiotics


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "He [Willis] might as well have been living in 1927," Dr. Jim Jirjis, director of general internal medicine at Vanderbilt University said. "All of the advances we've made in medicine today and are proud of, for people who don't have coverage, you might as well never have developed those."

Jirjis says that people like Willis, without access to care often dies of conditions that were much more common decades ago.

Prior to his death, dentists told Willis his infected wisdom tooth needed to be pulled. Willis decided to forgo the procedure, because he was unemployed and had no health insurance.

When his face started to swell and his head began to ache, Willis went to the emergency room, where he received prescriptions for antibiotics and pain medications. Willis couldn't afford both, so he chose the pain medications. The infection spread, causing his brain to swell - he died last week.

"People don't realize that dental disease can cause serious illness," Dr. Irvin Silverstein, a dentist at the University of California at San Diego says. "The problems are not just cosmetic. Many people die from dental disease."

Tragically, Willis' story is not unique. In 2007, 12-year-old Deamonte Driver also died when a tooth infection spread to his brain. The Maryland boy underwent two operations and six weeks of hospital care, totaling $250,000. Doctors said a routine $80 tooth extraction could have saved his life.

Deamonte's family was uninsured and had recently lost its Medicaid benefits, preventing the boy from having dental surgery.

"When people are unemployed or don't have insurance, where do they go? What do they do?" Silverstein said. "People end up dying, and these are the most treatable, preventable diseases in the world."

The Kaiser Family Foundation reported earlier this year said that 33 percent of people surveyed skipped dental care or dental checkups because they couldn't afford them. A 2003 report by the U.S. Surgeon General found that 108 million Americans had no dental insurance, nearly 2.5 times the number who had no health insurance.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More Health

DARPA developing new implants for 'healing superpowers'' - Mark of the Beast? Probably, but it doesn't matter because you're already marked Watch

Image of Most people already carry the Mark of the Beast in some form.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The U.S. government, working through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), says it plans to develop tiny implants that will help soldiers and possibly ordinary citizens heal after injuries. The implants would be small enough to place at the ends of ... continue reading


This disease may foretell diabetes, heart attacks, or cancer and you may just have it! Watch

Image of Those with pre-diabetes can lower their chance of contracting diabetes with a healthy diet, exercise and weight loss.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Federal health statistics show that nearly half of all adults in the U.S. have either pre-diabetes or diabetes, severely raising their risk for heart attacks, blindness, amputations and cancer. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - These statistics show that 12.3% of ... continue reading


Are officials keeping facts about Ebola from the easily frightened public? Watch

Image of Some think the United Nations needs to address the Ebola crisis head on.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The current Ebola outbreak has the world terrified. While still largely confined to West Africa, there is very little the world can do to prevent an infected person from jumping on a plane and bringing it to another country. Are health officials deliberately ... continue reading


Anti-anxiety, sleeping pills now linked to onset of Alzheimer's disease Watch

Image of A special class of drugs used to reduce anxiety and induce sleep is now being blamed for increasing the risk of Alzheimer's twofold, according to a dismaying new report.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It now appears that the elderly have been taking a class of drugs to beat one condition, only to increase their risk for the dreaded memory-robbing diseases of Alzheimer's and dementia. A special class of drugs used to reduce anxiety and induce sleep is now ... continue reading


Amazing! Your computer might be able to tell if you have a heart condition Watch

Image of A pilot study has shown that a computer camera may be capable of telling when a person is having a heart condition, by picking up changes in skin tone.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Researchers may be able to accurately detect atrial fibrillation with just a regular laptop camera and some sophisticated software, a new pilot study reveals. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The study reveals that this new system may be as accurate as a ... continue reading


Rare, unidentified illness striking nation's children Watch

Image of The rare new respiratory illness stalking the nation's children begins like an ordinary cold -- and then become much more serious.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's of high concern to the nation's parents: Thousands of kids in at least 10 U.S. have fallen ill to a mysterious respiratory illness. Doctors warn that this is likely to become a widespread, nationwide problem as the weather begins to cool. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Every two minutes, an Indian commits suicide, new WHO study reveals Watch

Image of A new study from the World Health Organization has revealed that a third of all suicides in the world take place in India.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Every 40 seconds a person commits suicides, and a decade long study conduced by the World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed that every third suicide in the world takes place in India. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The WHO believes that in 2012 alone, ... continue reading


New study shows that people with diabetes are more likely to suffer from tuberculosis Watch

Image of The rise of tuberculosis cases is especially hard hitting in Africa, where diabetes is also increasing.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The increasing number of Type 2 diabetes cases worldwide is going to make it more difficult to control and eliminate tuberculosis, experts have said after finding a connection between the two diseases. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The reasons are still ... continue reading


Electric shocks to the brain can aid those who suffer from stroke, Alzheimer's, memory loss Watch

Image of Previously, TMS has been used in a limited way to temporarily change brain function to improve performance during a test. The new study shows that TMS can be used to improve memory for events at least 24 hours after the stimulation is given.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Applying electric shocks to the brain can improve memory, researchers have found. Furthermore, researchers say the discovery could develop exciting new approaches for treating strokes, early-stage Alzheimer's and aging on the brain. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Do you eat pomegranates? Well here's a few reasons why you should Watch

Image of Pomegranates contain the chemical punicalagin, a form of a chemical compound known as polyphenol, which may help to prevent the inflammation that destroys brain cells known as micrologia.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An ingredient in pomegranate may help stop the spread of Alzheimer's disease, scientists from the University of Huddersfield claim. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The chemical punicalagin, a form of a chemical compound known as polyphenol, helps prevent the ... continue reading


All Health News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Proverbs 3:27-34
27 Refuse no kindness to those who have a right to ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 15:2-3, 3-4, 5
2 Whoever lives blamelessly, who acts uprightly, who ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 8:16-18
16 'No one lights a lamp to cover it with a bowl or ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Thomas of Villanueva
September 22: Augustinian bishop. Born at Fuentellana, Castile, Spain, he was ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter