The initiatives that warn of clinical practices that don’t add value or that contributes very little, are an advanced product of evidence-based medicine. This culture, which has the force of reason, often conflicts with several limitations to influence the actual practice of medicine. The first lies in the ‘original sin’, since most clinical trials leave out the very elderly and the multi-pathologies, the second has to do with the difficulties of adapting clinical practice guidelines to the actual circumstances surrounding each patient and the third is the influence of other factors, such as industry or popular culture, for example, when it comes to influencing clinical decisions.
This matter of little practical value is one of the most unclear of which I have addressed on the blog, and so I want to explain my opinion of the three main sources that today feed us information.
"Do not do” recommendations from NICE
To illustrate how these recommendations work, I have chosen five examples of the questions that NICE believes should not be posed:
- Indicate hysterectomy as a first choice in cases of even strong bleeding
- Prescribe antipyretics to prevent febrile seizures
- Prescribe bevacizumab as first line in cases of metastatic colorectal cancer
- Shaving the skin in surgical preparation
- Hospitalising women with gestational hypertension