17 February 2012
A Pat On The Back!
Beavering away at an endless Cardiovascular Clinic on a wet Thursday afternoon we sit listening with half an ear to Mrs Moana complaining that she never eats a thing and can’t understand why she’s put on 4kg of weight and wonder whether it’s all worthwhile.
We can look at Risk Charts.
We can contemplate Numbers Needed to Treat.
We may have treated ten people after a myocardial infarction with low dose aspirin and been told that we have prevented one major event in one person. But which person?
We may have lowered blood pressure in ten people and reduced the chance of them having a stroke from 15% to 5% but may be the ten people were in the other 85%.
So it is gratifying to read a headline such as appeared in a daily paper recently:
Now that’s impressive.
80,000 heart attacks and 28,576 deaths have been prevented.
Hey – that’s 16 heart attacks and 6 deaths in OUR practice.
Of course, all the dismal jimmies are out there saying that it’s only temporary. Obesity and diabetes will soon push the figures back up again.
Stuff them and pat yourself on the back (for it’s unlikely that anyone else will) on doing a good job.
Fancy, 6 deaths prevented. The trouble is, one of them might be Mrs Moana.