Injury: Emergency drugs could be killing the patient
Hospital accident and emergency units are routinely treating injuries with untested therapies that may kill the patient, a leading consultant has said.
Professor Ian Roberts at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine says that virtually no treatment for emergency trauma care has been tested for its safety.
Pharmaceutical companies spend just a fraction of their research funding on injury care, instead preferring to concentrate on cancer and heart disease.
The use of corticosteroids for head injury in hospitals was stopped only after a study in 2004 discovered that they significantly increased the risk of death. Prof Roberts described the effects of the drug as ‘industry slaughter’.
This ‘black hole’ in research means that doctors have no way of knowing if other dugs are similarly dangerous, Prof Roberts told the British Association for the Advancement of Science conference this week.
(Source: The Times, 7 September 2006).E-news broadcast 7 September 2006 No.290