Sensible Doctors at Last?

Scientific research has just demonstrated, scientifically, that a manually obtained blood pressure in the doctor’s office is higher than a blood pressure taken by an automated device without a white-coated doc insight – big news?

Furthermore, it has been shown that even the automated-device-blood pressure with a doctor around tends to drop a very considerable 10% after ten minutes – big surprise?

Now the National Health bureaucrats calculate how many patients nationwide are treated unnecessarily, because any good doctor wants to build a good relationship with the patients and therefore takes the honourable action of checking blood pressure him/herself and by this causing a iatrogenic (doctors’ elegant word meaning that the condition/illness had been caused by a doctor) hypertension…

Any doctor who is in ‘business’ for more than two years must know his or her effect on blood pressure. Anybody who has ever been in an emergency room must be aware what effect that environment has on the poor patient’s emotional state and blood pressure.

The conclusion therefore has to be for any medic, that blood pressure readings must not be read but interpreted. And a good interpretation needs to take the patient’s emotional state into account! Is that wisdom? No, it is nothing more than good medicine!
So, do not get into a state, if your blood pressure is soaring high when having to go to urgencias. If we find a blood pressure a little bit high in our surgery, we normally attribute it to our menacing presence and recommend re-checking – preferably at home. If we find it way too high, we would ask for a 24-hour check with one of our automated devices. And only if we find a certain percentage of all readings taken too high, we would call it a hypertension. One swallow does not make a summer make (neither do two) and one high reading does not mean hypertension!

In other fields such as diabetes and arrhythmic-heartbeat medicine are taking the same route: it is not necessary to recommend as much treatment as one has done even five years ago. There is no benefit from keeping blood glucose levels as low as possible and there is no benefit from forcing the heartbeat from a jazzy samba rhythm back into a rock steady beat.

This does not mean ‘anything goes.’ No, one needs to control certain parameters, but much less strictly as it had been done formerly – and still is done most of the times!

Fewer pills sold, fewer sick people, fewer side effects, fewer visits to the doctor’s surgery – is that a wrong message in times of economic crisis?

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