In our last post we presented five of the recommendations made by the American Academy of Internal Medicine Foundation regarding common medical practices and procedures that they concluded were unnecessary and in some cases harmful to good patient care.
Today we finish the topic by listing, in laymen’s terminology, five more from their extensive list, which can be found in this link.
6) Antibiotics should not be used for viral respiratory illnesses (sinusitis, pharyngitis, and bronchitis).
Although overall antibiotic prescription rates have fallen, they still remain alarmingly high. Unnecessary medication use for viral respiratory illnesses can lead to antibiotics no longer working properly and contributes to higher health care costs and risks of side effects.
7) Use methods to reduce radiation exposure in cardiac X-ray studies whenever possible, including not performing such tests when limited benefits are likely.
The key step to reduce or eliminate radiation exposure is appropriate selection of any test or procedure for a specific person. Doctors should incorporate new methodologies in cardiac imaging to reduce patient exposure to radiation while maintaining high-quality results.
8) Don’t prescribe testosterone to men with erectile dysfunction who have normal testosterone levels.
While testosterone treatment is shown to increase sexual interest, there appears to be no significant influence on erectile function, at least not in men with normal testosterone levels.
9) Don’t order antibiotics for viral conjunctivitis (pink eye).
Antibiotics are useful for patients with conjunctivitis caused by bacteria. However, they are not useful for conjunctivitis caused by viruses, and the overuse of antibiotics can lead to the emergence of bacteria that don’t respond readily to available treatments.
10) Don’t use PET or CT scanning for cancer screening in healthy individuals.
The likelihood of finding cancer in healthy adults is extremely low (around 1%), based on studies using PET/CT for screening. Performing these x-rays without a clear reason is likely to identify harmless findings that lead to more tests, biopsy or unnecessary surgery.
See also in ProcuraMed:
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