The growth of medical science has been phenomenal .It is estimated , the quantum of break throughs and development in the last 50 years is nearly equal to 2000 years of evolution of our knowledge put together. Along with this growth , came the unavoidable misuse , and abuse of medical science. This is mainly due to contamination of medicine with commerce . Federal drug authority (FDA) and it’s variants were formed in all countries to monitor the proper usage of these technologies for the benefit of mankind. It has an authority to ban a drug or device , if it is found to bring more injury or side effects than benefit !
But , unfortunately there is no legal authority to ban an an investigation which is potentially or (really harmful )
or used extensively without any valid purpose .
The list of such investigation is increasing in every speciality
- Doing a Troponin assay in patients wuth classical STEMI
- MDCT in general population
- Pro BNP in all suspected cardiac failure
- Routine C reactive protein for CAD
- Central venous catheters for all pateints with shock.
Is there a case for banning an investigation (Like banning a drug) for the benefit of our patients ?
Looking superficially , it may seem ironical. But we realise many seemingly innocuous investigations are responsible for uncontrolled misery for many patients.
This especially true in people who throng the wellness clinic (Also called master health check up)
A incidentally high C – reactive protein can lead on to forearm blood flow assessment of endothelial dysfunction and carotid intimal plaque that could lead onto carotid stents ! and life long anticoagulation , and an excess INR and sudden cerebral bleed and death !
This is one sample story in one particular speciality
There is a definite case for banning ( Either total or partial) some of the questionable investigations which are done routinely !
Just because these investigation do not have any physical , visible , adverse reactions like a drug , it should not be allowed to be abused .The consequence of false positive results of these investigations could be terrible and worse than the real disese itself !