Hyderabad: Do patients who come to the emergency ward need profiling of the kidney, liver and thyroid? Do they need to get lipid profiles done?
Dr K,K. Aggarwal, senior cardiologist and president-elect of the Confederation of Medical Associations of Asia and Oceania, said, “The practice of doing ‘profiles’ needs to be deliberated upon. Why perform the lipid profile at admission when the patient may not be fasting? Why do T3 and T4 when the screening test is TSH? Only those investigations that are essential should be done at first, bearing in mind the clinical signs and symptoms the patient presents. Further investigations can proceed in a stepwise manner.”
He said that in a US health education campaign, it was found that there were more than 400 recommendations of overused tests and treatments that clinicians and patients must discuss.
“This is important as we do not have to overcharge the patient but ensure that there is proper medical service provided it is beneficial and not unnecessary treatment,” he said.
Constant allegations that hospitals are doing unnecessary tests are heard every now and then. There is no proper information channel or independent doctors’ opinion that can be relied upon to understand which tests are necessary normally and even in emergency.