Medical Tests and Procedures You Should Avoid

Posted by M ws On Thursday, August 22, 2013 0 comments
Doctors are often criticized for prescribing unneeded tests and procedures that harm more than they help and add to medical costs that could otherwise be avoided. 12 medical tests and procedures now being questioned worldwide as unnecessary and potentially cause — sometimes harmful results to patients. Since a campaign was launched last year, more than 130 tests and procedures have been called into question by 25 medical specialty societies with more than 500,000 member doctors.

“Millions of Americans are increasingly realizing that when it comes to health care, more is not necessarily better,” said Dr. Christine Cassel,  president of the ABIM Foundation. “Through these lists of tests and procedures, we hope to encourage conversations between physicians and patients about what care they truly need.” CLICK HERE for full list.

United States specialty societies representing more than 500,000 physicians developed lists of Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question in recognition of the importance of physician and patient conversations to improve care and eliminate unnecessary tests and procedures.

12 MEDICAL TESTS TO AVOID

1. Avoid Inducing Labor or C-Section Before 39 Weeks

Delivery prior to 39 weeks is associated with increased risk of learning disabilities, respiratory problems and other potential risks. While sometimes induction prior to 39 weeks is medically necessary, the recommendation is clear that simply having a mature fetal lung test, in the absence of appropriate clinical criteria, is not an indication for delivery.  (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; American Academy of Family Physicians)
2. Avoid Routine Annual Pap Tests

In average-risk women, routine annual Pap tests (cervical cytology screenings) offer no advantage. (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists)
3. Avoid CT Scans To Evaluate Minor Head Injuries

Approximately 50 percent of children who visit hospital emergency departments with head injuries are given a CT scan. CT scanning is associated with radiation exposure that may escalate future cancer risk. CT technology exposes patients to approximately 100 times the radiation of a standard chest X-ray which itself increases the risk of cancer. The recommendation calls for clinical observation prior to making a decision about needing a CT. (American Academy of Pediatrics)
4. Avoid Stress Tests Using Echocardiographic Images

The recommendation states that there is very little information on the benefit of using stress echocardiography in asymptomatic individuals for the purposes of cardiovascular risk assessment, as a stand-alone test or in addition to conventional risk factors. (American Society of Echocardiography)
5. Avoid Prescribing Type 2 Diabetes Medication To Achieve Tight Glycemic Control

The recommendation states that there is no evidence that using medicine to tightly control blood sugar in older diabetics is beneficial. In fact, using medications to strictly achieve low blood sugar levels is associated with harms, including higher mortality rates. (American Geriatrics Society)
6. Avoid EEGs (electroencephalography) on Patients With Recurrent Headaches.

Recurrent headache is the most common pain problem, affecting up to 20 percent of people. The recommendation states that EEG has no advantage over clinical evaluation in diagnosing headache, does not improve outcomes, and increases costs. (American Academy of Neurology)
7. Avoid Routinely Treating Acid Reflux

Anti-reflux therapy, which is commonly prescribed in adults, has no demonstrated effect in reducing the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in infants, and there is emerging evidence that it may in fact be harmful in certain situations. (Society of Hospital Medicine)

ADDITIONAL MEDICAL TESTS TO BE AVOIDED

CLICK HERE for more.

*Thanks to Angela for sharing this article.

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