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“Finding abnormalities does not always benefit patients, and that’s a really difficult concept for patients and physicians to grasp.” January 6, 2017

Posted by drolarn in Uncategorized.
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Overuse of medical care remains all too common in pediatric settings, according to the authors of a literature analysis published online January 3 in Pediatrics.

“Overused medical care is not just wasteful, it is potentially harmful,” write Eric R. Coon, MD, from the Division of Inpatient Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Utah School of Medicine Primary Children’s Hospital, Salt Lake City, and colleagues.

I spend a significant amount of time telling parents why medical tests they think their child needs or have been suggested to them may not only be unnecessary and unhelpful, but also potentially harmful. A hard thing to do as it is somewhat counter-intuitive and within the confines of a limited time for consultation, parents can go home feeling disappointed. A few that I know of will go to other, perhaps more “obliging” doctors and get the tests done, and as predicted, get results that are unhelpful.

There has also been a number of patients who have come to see me from other hospitals having been through numerous, increasingly expensive and invasive tests, which have not resulted in gaining information that has improved their child’s condition.

The problem of overdiagnosis has been studied much more extensively in adults than children and it is rife in many places. If offered promotional test packages by private commercial hospitals ask yourself who is really benefiting.

 

 

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