Let’s get the headline-grabbing part of the story out of the way first: According to an article published online, an 8-year-old boy in India defended himself against an attack by a deadly cobra by biting the snake back—with the reptile ultimately succumbing to its own injuries and the boy surviving. The less sensational, but possibly more impactful aspect of the story is that the boy received treatment not at a hospital or community health clinic, but the nearest urgent care center in a country not known as a hotbed of this industry. A quick search of the National Library of Medicine reveals that the topic has been the subject of some research, however. One article in the NLM online archive notes that common, but potentially severe, health challenges in some parts of India could be “cured by the panacea of training in the field of [urgent care practice]. The need of the hour is universal, timely availability of a cadre of trained doctors, and healthcare providers specially trained in ‘UCP’ within easy reach of the community.” Bear in mind that the whole concept of urgent care started to take root with the growth of the practice setting in the U.S. What started as a (then) radical hybrid of primary care and emergency medicine has become an essential component of this country’s health system, as well as an export with the ability to save lives all over the world. Well done!
In a Story Even Stranger than ‘Man Bites Dog,’ the Takeaway Is the Global Spread of Urgent Care