Imagine you are playing your favorite athletic activity outside when you pivot, lose your balance, and fall on your knees. You experience some tenderness in your right knee in addition to superficial wounds that require re-bandaging every thirty minutes. You aren’t worried about whether or not you may need stitches; your roommate is in medical school and could easily lend a hand there. What does concern you, however, is the possibility for infection. You need prescription strength ointment.
You would ask your own doctor but he’s at a conference in San Diego. You decide to go to the ER, fully aware that there are likely other people with more life-threatening symptoms that would be seen first.
Do you let your fear of infection drive you to escalate your injury (get your other roommate to break your nose)? Or do you just wait until your skin turns green?