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Internists create an overview of the most unnecessary treatments


Many treatments are unnecessary and even endanger our health
When people go to their family doctor or go to a hospital, they are usually sick or have other complaints. Then they hope for quick help and effective treatment from the doctor they trust. Since unnecessary treatments are usually expensive and can even endanger our health, experts have now compiled a list of ten frequently used, unnecessary treatments.

A visit to the doctor usually has only one purpose: Sick people hope that their symptoms will be alleviated by rapid treatment. However, some treatments could be avoidable and even pose a risk to our health. Physicians from the Swiss Society for General Internal Medicine (SGAIM) have now published a list that contains some of the unnecessary treatments that patients should better get a second opinion of.

List of unnecessary treatments:
1. Antibiotics for harmless respiratory infections
Patients with colds and other respiratory diseases often require antibiotics to treat the problems quickly. Such treatment is unnecessary, however, because the excessive, unjustified use of antibiotics only increases the risk of developing resistant germs, the experts from Switzerland warn.

2. Regular blood or X-ray examinations without a specific reason
Some examinations, such as blood tests or X-ray examinations, are often carried out at certain intervals for diseases. Doctors and experts warn of these unnecessary treatments. Without a specific reason, such investigations are mostly just a waste of money. Doctors and patients should save themselves these unnecessary burdens, the doctors advise.

3. Too long prescribed bed rest for elderly patients
When elderly people go to a hospital, they often have to stay in bed for too long. Most of the time, however, other therapies are in demand, the doctors criticize. If the patient stays too long, the walking ability of the affected patients may deteriorate, for example, the authors warn.

4. Sedatives and sleeping pills
In general, patients are often prescribed unnecessary tranquilizers and sleeping pills. According to the experts at SGAIM, studies show that these unnecessary prescriptions increase the risk of everyday traffic accidents and falls. So this is also an unnecessary treatment, which is even associated with risks for us and our fellow human beings.

5. Permanent catheter for incontinence without urgent need
The use of a permanent catheter in the event of incontinence should often only facilitate the work of the nursing staff, explain the SGAIM doctors. However, the permanent catheter also increases the risk of infections.

6. More blood transfusion than is really necessary
When people need to receive a blood transfusion, it should only contain the minimum amount of blood and should never exceed it. Otherwise, the unnecessary type of treatment only increases the costs and, above all, the risk to our health, the experts explain.

7. Early X-ray for back pain
Some doctors first undergo an X-ray examination of patients with back pain. However, X-rays do not help to improve the diagnosis of back pain within the first six weeks, the researchers from Switzerland say. This treatment is therefore unnecessary and even endangers our health because the affected patients are exposed to unnecessary radiation.

8. X-ray before surgery
The chest x-ray is sometimes performed before surgery, but this treatment is unnecessary because medical professionals do not receive important essential information from these x-rays, the authors explain. In addition, the patient is exposed to unnecessary radiation.

9. PSA screening as a prostate cancer examination
The doctors say that the so-called PSA screening should also be one of the unnecessary interventions. The exact benefit of this investigation is mostly unclear. However, there is a risk of an over-examination, the experts warn.

10. Treatment with proton pump blockers
According to experts from SGAIM, unnecessary treatment with so-called proton pump blockers can often have many side effects. With this type of treatment, side effects often outweigh the benefits, doctors warn. (as)

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