Maybe Less Is More in the ICU

This is a quite provocative piece as even medical skeptics such as myself tend to give lots of praise to “modern medicine” for its’ ability to keep critical care patients going but here we have a major player in the Intense Care Unit world making some very interesting criticisms.

the following is excerpted from New Scientist written by Dan Jones

NOTHING epitomises cutting-edge medicine so much as a modern intensive care unit. Among the serried ranks of shiny chrome and plastic surrounding each bed are machines to ventilate the lungs and keep failing kidneys functioning, devices to deliver drugs intravenously and supply sedatives, tubes to get food into a patient and waste out, and countless gizmos to monitor blood composition, heart rate, pulse and other physiological indicators.

This environment is home to Mervyn Singer, director of the Bloomsbury Institute Centre for Intensive Care Medicine at University College London. So you might expect him to wax lyrical about the wonders of medical technology. Instead, he has this to say: “Virtually all the advances in intensive care in the past 10 years have involved doing less to the patient.” And he goes further, arguing provocatively that modern critical care interferes with the body’s natural protective mechanisms- that patients often survive in spite of medical interventions rather than because of them.

much more via Darwinian Medicine: Does Intensive Medicine Kill or Cure?


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