Screening for prostate cancer, electronic monitoring of a baby’s heart during labour and using saline solution on cuts are some of the treatments which offer little or no benefit to patients new research states.
The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has published a new list of 40 medical procedures or treatments it believes are too costly and time-consuming and do not have great returns.
Medical experts from 11 different fields including emergency medicine, obstetricians and gynaecologists, sexual health and children’s health, were asked to identify five treatments or procedures commonly used in their field that were not always necessary or valuable.
The list states:
Most patients do not need routine preoperative tests before minor or intermediate surgery.
Connecting an intoxicated patient up to a drip and providing intravenous fluids will not help them feel better or allow discharge from hospital any quicker.
Children with wrist fractures do not need casts and using tap water was just as good as using saline solution to wash cuts and grazes.
Electronic monitoring of a baby’s heart should not be offered routinely during labour, unless the mother is at a higher risk of complications than normal.
Before medication for constipation in young children is given out changes of diet should come first.
Routine screening for prostate conditions using a test known as a Prostate Specific Antigen, does not lead to longer life and can bring unnecessary anxiety.
The academy says patients should always ask five key questions when seeking treatment.
Do I really need this test, treatment or procedure?
What are the risks or downsides?
What are the possible side-effects?
Are there simpler, safer options?
What will happen if I do nothing?
This list will be added to every year to try and cut down treatments and the associated cuts which go with them. To view the full list click here.