Letter: Albumin treatment
Saturday 01 August 1998
Sir: The controversy over giving albumin to seriously ill patients ("Thousands killed by burns `cure'", 24 July) highlights the difficulty in routinely applying the "scientific method" to medical situations. This approach is effective when used for patients with isolated problems, such as bacterial infection, diabetes or most surgically treatable diseases. However, the complex multi-organ system disorders of patients in intensive care means that many different treatments have to be used at the same time, thus preventing true, scientific control of all the variables which could affect outcome.
The report also raises a general question about the nature of evidence that doctors use. Is it acceptable to use the pragmatic, qualitative evidence of clinical experience, or should we use bogus scientific, quantitative rigour that erroneously proves the effectiveness of one particular therapy given in combination with many others? Indeed, there are lies, damned lies and evidence-based statistics.
DR C BROWN
Glastonbury Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend will perform with Paul Weller as their warm-up act
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Katie Hopkins gives rare glimpse of sensitive side with heartfelt open letter to her children penned in case she dies from epilepsy
- 2 Rihanna's Met Gala dress took one Chinese woman 2 years to make, was reduced to omelette meme in 2 seconds
- 3 Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to replace Jeremy Clarkson and co
- 4 #JeSuisEd: People share photos of themselves eating awkwardly in solidarity with Labour leader
- 5 Women think Irish men are the sexiest, survey finds
Penny Dreadful, series 2 episode 1, review: It is still gloriously silly
Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to replace Jeremy Clarkson and co
Eurovision 2015: What date and time is the song contest and who are the favourites to win?
How the Other Half Eat, Channel 4 - TV review: Swapping food trolleys shows how food and class are closely connected
Indiana Jones sequel confirmed by Lucasfilm - but will Harrison Ford return to the franchise?
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
General Election 2015: Sturgeon claims Scots 'appalled' by Ed Miliband's refusal to work with SNP