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Monday, February 04, 2008

Lack of ability interpreting lab studies leads to need of Second Opinion

I admit it! I had years of chemistry and physiology in college. I probably hated it at the time because these classes are also lab classes consuming about twice the time as classroom work.

In the long run I think it has paid off because it has allowed me to develop a method to evaluate lab reports based solely on biochemistry and nutrition. It is a way to pick up body system deficiencies that are constantly overlooked by US health care providers. It is not just an issue in the UK.

This system came out of an interest in a key medical text on laboratory medicine. Aided by an in depth knowledge of how the body works and how it is interconnected, I knew there had to a more exquisite way to apply my detective skills.

In my review of lab work I do not rely on the standard range of results popped out by the laboratory machinery used to process the specimens.

One example of this is the out of range results used for TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). Several years ago the Clinical Endocrinologists lowered this range yet very few labs have made the shift to the new range.

When I ask the many questions I ask, mainly because I use the old-fashioned way, I am able to pinpoint deficiencies because I listen to what a person tells me (symptoms) and put it together, almost like a jigsaw puzzle, with what the lab printout tells me.

Through an educational process I explain the findings to the client, suggest natural treatments to help correct the issue, and help them understand what to ask their doctor, in hopes of improving care and outcomes.

In some instances even the doctor is amazed. I guess they never stop to think of the science, and how to use it as an art.

I suppose, thinking out past November 2008, it might get worse if the Hillary plan to garnish your wages to force health insurance on you is allowed to happen. Hope you are listening very closely to what these stumpers are saying. Along with insurance and drug company control of health care, this would be just one more insult!

Jim Kirwan agrees when he says, "The core of the argument is that what American's need health-CARE, not ACCESS to Health-insurance."

So if you might be looking for that Second Opinion, consider the our service.

Test confusion 'risk to patients'

Many junior doctors do not understand common hospital laboratory tests and are putting patients at risk as a result, biochemists have claimed.

The Annals of Clinical Biochemistry reports that 18% of more than 80 junior doctors surveyed were happy to order a test they could not fully interpret.

The Association for Clinical Biochemistry blamed poor teaching of the subject at medical schools.

The General Medical Council is planning to review its curriculum guidance.

The majority of hospital pathology tests are ordered by junior doctors, but in recent years many medical schools have reduced the amount of time they devote to pathology teaching.

Dr Trevor Gray, from the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield, carried out a survey of more than 80 juniors, asking them how they felt about the clinical biochemistry tests they were expected to order on a day-to-day basis.

In 10 out of the 12 common tests listed, some of the juniors questioned said they were not entirely confident about interpreting the results.

In three tests, more than a third of those questioned said they were not confident - and 18% of the doctors said they were happy to order a test which they did not fully understand how to interpret.

Seven out of 10 said they would like more teaching in clinical biochemistry.

Dangerous decisions

Dr Danielle Freedman, from the Association of Clinical Biochemistry, said the results revealed "a national problem".

"It's something that scares me - these are the doctors who are going to be looking after me when I'm older."

She said that errors could be highly dangerous to patients: "If you have someone who has a test which shows they have a low sodium level, further tests need to be done to establish the cause.

"Some junior doctors can order the sodium test, but don't know what to do with the result, and the patient doesn't get the right treatment."

She said that she knew of patients who had been discharged from hospital only to suffer a major heart attack because a key test had not been carried out properly.

The General Medical Council (GMC) is currently preparing to review its guidance on the content of medical education.

"It is essential that the GMC, universities and medical school take note to protect both patients and doctors," Dr Freedman said.

Among those responsible for pathology teaching in UK medical schools is the Royal College of Pathologists, and a spokesman said that it was currently examining what medical students were taught.

"The college has set up a group to review and appraise the new curriculum."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2008/02/02 01:02:04 GMT

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