The Internet is not your doctor

The Internet is not your doctor

3 reasons why it is not good to have complete trust in the internet

A study on the administration of drugs to children without the recommendation of the doctor made by the Romanian Association of International Medicines Manufacturers (ARPIM) earlier this year revealed that parents invoke three reasons when they justify the decision to treat single children: it is based on previous similar experiences. , I do not find the time to go to the doctor and it is easier for them to document on the Internet.

"These reasons emphasized by parents are related to each other. Each parent wants the little one to feel good and either to speed up the healing process, or because he has no time, take into account his or her friends' previous experiences, from the advice of strangers from different forums or apply treatment schemes identified on certain sites. Parents need to understand that the doctor's advice is priceless and the treatment of children without his advice can have serious consequences", said Cristian Lutan, Deputy Executive Director of ARPIM.

1. Diagnosis and treatment of the child using the Internet can lead to delayed confirmation and treatment of the real disease.

When the baby gets sick, parents are often frightened and the first impulse for some of them is to go online to see what diseases would fit the symptoms of the little one and what would be the recommended treatment. Some parents are limited to informing themselves, others apply the treatment found on various sites or in discussions with their mothers in the forums and postpone the visit to the pediatrician.

"One of the biggest risks of self-medication is the treatment of a certain symptom, which can result in masking the disease of which the little one suffers. This often happens when parents give drugs to children without our recommendation, taking into account only the advice of other mothers. that I find online or the treatments identified on different sites.

For example, young children often have a fever, and the fever can be a sign of a virus, tooth growth or childhood-specific illness. The worried parent seeks advice online, treats the child with fever without knowing whether the child has other symptoms, and if he feels better postponed to visit the pediatrician. Subsequently, when the fever recurs with other more visible symptoms, the parents finally go to a medical checkup with the little one. Thus, the child receives a delayed diagnosis and consequently the treatment is more complex, expensive, with less efficiency, "said Dr. Evelina Moraru, pediatrician at St. Mary Iasi Children's Emergency Clinical Hospital.

"Another example is the symptomatic treatment of abdominal pain. Attempt to administer sedative or antispasmodic Internet advice, parents do not know that they can camouflage a severe inflammatory process in a surgical cause, and delaying surgery is serious. , any therapy, however simple, must be well weighed in order to be effective, without risks and without complications, "added Dr. Moraru.

2. The Internet can be a source of panic

"It is said that medical students get sick of all the diseases they study, a phenomenon even described as 'the disease of the third year student'. A similar thing happens with parents who spend a lot of time on the Internet reading information about their affliction. the little one or about other diseases that hang him at every step.Each child is unique, each child reacts differently to certain symptoms and to a certain treatment, and parents need to be aware of this and trust the pediatrician's advice. general on the internet, extreme negative examples, warnings posted on other parents' forums will create panic at times when the child needs a rational parent to be with him and to administer the treatment indicated by the doctor, "added Dr. Moraru .

"Another situation is triggered by the indication of a certain investigation. The doctors make a permanent differential diagnosis until they reach the positive diagnosis. There are parents who immediately study on the Internet, panic if the doctor wants to exclude a more serious illness and Some parents deny the specific diagnosis and resort to alternative therapy tips. Panic should be avoided and the truth seen before in a fight in which the fear does not help anything, "said Dr. Moraru.

3. The information on the Internet is general and unverified

"The medical information available on the Internet is general, unverified and sometimes erroneous. Unfortunately, only specialists know how to discern between valid and questionable opinions. Parents must understand that a pediatrician has 6 years of medical study behind and 5- 6 years of residency, while the parents with whom they are talking online are mostly based on the personalized recommendations made by the pediatrician for their child and do not have the ability to analyze whether the same treatment is suitable for another child.

In addition, any treatment, any new symptoms that a child presents must be analyzed according to the medical history of the little one and only the pediatric doctor is able to do so, "said Cristian Lutan, Deputy Executive Director ARPIM.

"The Internet is a great acquisition, a considerable progress, but the abuse of use outside the area of ​​concern for which we are each qualified, can create huge shortcomings for the child, a vulnerable being, confident and dependent on the parents' actions. Dear parents, be confident in your doctors and in our advice. Regardless of the affection of the little one, how easy or serious it may be, the advice of the pediatrician cannot be replaced by the Internet", concluded Dr. Evelina Moraru.