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Study discovers medical reversal with over 400 accepted practices

Researchers have found that over 400 medical practices, all of them very common, are in fact ineffective. The results of the study, which were published in eLife, are intended to help clinicians and researchers in Ohio and across the U.S. care for patients more effectively and more economically.

Researchers from the Oregon Health & Science University discovered these medical reversals after reviewing 3,000 articles involving randomized controlled trials. These articles had all been published in the past 15 years by journals like the Lancet and the Journal of the American Medical Association. In those 3,000 articles were 296 instances of medical reversals.

The subjects of 92% of the studies were from high-income countries while those in 8% of the studies were from low- or middle-income countries. The most frequently reversed practices were those focusing on cardiovascular disease at 20%, followed by public health or preventive medicine procedures and critical care procedures.

Other reviews do perform medical reversals but not in such a sweeping manner as the study in question. For example, each Cochrane Review covers just one reversed practice. It is hoped that doctors will re-evaluate their own practices and never adopt a new practice until thorough research on it is available, especially when the practice is more extensive or aggressive than current practices.

Failure to re-evaluate procedures in the light of new research may be considered negligent. If an ineffective treatment leads to a worsening of the condition, patients may be eligible for compensation. This is where they might speak with a Columbus, Ohio, medical malpractice injury lawyer about their options. It might be hard to negotiate for a fair amount in damages with the other side, but a lawyer may handle this step after third parties have gathered all the necessary evidence.