This was the crux of the principal lecture at the annual day meet of the Tiruchi branch of IMA on Sunday

Be it new procedures or new drugs, doctors must take them with a pinch of salt, was the crux of the principal lecture at the annual day meeting of the Tiruchi branch of the Indian Medical Association, here on Sunday.

At a time when the medical world is bombarded with technological advancements, doctors must critically evaluate new techniques and drugs before prescribing them, said V.Sridhar, chief cardiothoracic surgeon, Apollo Speciality Hospital, Madurai. As there is no certainty about the long-term benefits of new developments, it is important for doctors to closely assess how the studies have been conducted, said Dr.Sridhar, delivering the B.Ramamurthy Endowment Lecture. He cautioned doctors about getting carried away by commercial marketing.

“It is important for medicos not only to read journals but to stay updated through multiple channels of information,” he stressed during his talk on ‘Evidence based medicine: reading between the lines.”

On the question of which is the better choice – angioplasty or bypass surgery, Dr.Sridhar said cumulative results of various international studies indicate that surgery is effective in 70 per cent of patients and stent usage for 10 per cent while the remaining 20 per cent may benefit from either of the procedures. Owing to dearth of documentation and research in India, European and American studies are signposts in such cases.

P.Vijayalakshmi, chief, paediatric ophthalmology and adult strabismus development, Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai, discussed ‘Common eye problems in adolescence’.

S.M.Chandramohan, head, department of surgical gastroenterology, Madras Medical College, and Rajiv Gandhi Memorial Government General Hospital, Chennai, elaborated on ‘Corrosive poisoning: struggle from ingestion to eating’.