Wednesday, 31 October 2007
Street Doctor - negligent medicine at prime time
Luckily I have not had to endure many episodes of the BBC's woeful 'Street Doctor', unfortunately last week I was unlucky. Not only is the program negligent in the way that it portrays medicine as something that can be done on a street corner without a proper thorough history and examination, but it is also negligent in the way that the doctors get medical things very wrong indeed. In last weeks episode there were these glaring errors:
Plantar Fasciitis - a man with mild plantar fasciitis was treated immediately with a steroid injection. This was poor medicine as he should have been treated with simpler measures before a steroid injection was even considered, however the Street Doctor went straight for a treatment that is at best slightly controversial and at worst can result in serious complications. This was undoubtedly poor medicine.
Dupuytren's disease - the Street Doctor got this very wrong stating that it was a thickening of tendons and could be treated with a steroid injection. This is complete rubbish, Dupuytren's is a disease of the palmar fascia and not the tendons, and cannot be treated with steroid injections.
Sebaceous cyst - a poor old chap got terribly scared by the Street Doctor telling him that squeezing his infected cyst would result in the infection spreading to the bloodstream, what utter hogwash. In fact squeezing an infected cyst may well prevent the infection becoming more systemic, the complete opposite of the doctor's advice.
This program is an embarrassment and a danger. It encourages sloppy half arsed medical practice and spreads medical misinformation to the general public. It's therefore no surprise that the BBC should see it as a key part of its new cutting edge programming. A cynic would even go so far as to say that this pathetic attempt at taking care into the community is being used to add weight to Darzi's corrupt NHS reform program.