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Anne Abbot wins award for standing up for real science, and opposing unnecessary surgeries.

(9 Posts)
Defaultname Sat 19-Dec-20 22:12:57

Anne Abbott is a scientist on a mission. She believes large numbers of debilitating strokes can be prevented without surgical interventions. Lifestyle changes and medication alone can make massive improvements to people at risk from the thickening of their arteries.

It is not an attitude that has endeared her to the medical establishment, however. For years, it has attempted to block her work while instead pressing for increasing use of carotid surgery and stents, she told the Observer last week. Abbott’s efforts have received global recognition – thanks to the judges of the John Maddox prize. Named after the former editor of Nature, and organised by the journal and the charity Sense About Science, the international awards are given to researchers who stand up for sound science.
“Major improvements can simply be made by medical – as opposed to procedural – interventions, such as the adoption of healthier lifestyles, anti-cholesterol drugs, taking blood pressure and cutting out smoking.”

But despite publication of papers on the effectiveness of these measures, major programmes to use surgical interventions were being introduced across the world, and Abbott came under considerable pressure to stop her attempts to improve stroke prevention. “To get all this resistance from multiple people, multiple institutions, was shocking and tiring,” she added. “It became terribly difficult to keep going.”

OP’s posts: |
Thelnebriati Sat 19-Dec-20 22:29:36

That's interesting, 3 of her 4 suggestions can be carried out by the patient with no medical expense.
This just seems to be more evidence that the medical industry is invested in creating as many patients as possible.

MedusasBrandyButter Sat 26-Dec-20 16:29:11

Very interesting, thank you!

MoleSmokes Sun 27-Dec-20 02:50:09

“It takes great courage and determination to go against established practices,” said one Maddox prize judge, Magdalena Skipper, Nature’s editor-in-chief. “Anne Abbott’s efforts to move away from unnecessary clinical interventions and procedures have shifted stroke prevention methods and improved stroke prevention worldwide – despite coming up against resistance from her academic seniors.”

Yet another example of health care orthodoxy being set by the profit-motive and scalpel-happy surgeons willing to take risks with other people’s lives - with stifling of research into the evidence base and less invasive approaches.

This is such a well-deserved award and made me think how much less technology-oriented, and more patient-centred, medicine might have evolved if the “wise women” of old had not been so comprehensively rooted out by the male barber-surgeons.

Walkintal Sun 27-Dec-20 03:25:01

Bollocks, all the advice on strokes and heart issues drive stopping smoking and other lifestyle choices.
Surgical interventions are only done on people who have ignored these and got so bad they need surgical intervention. If they had acted on lifestyle choice, no intervention s necessary.
People do not operate on healthy people as a matter of course.

DPotter Sun 27-Dec-20 03:38:51

We have a straw man in the room.

Walkintal Sun 27-Dec-20 03:42:31

What strawman?

DPotter Sun 27-Dec-20 12:47:43

Setting up the illusion that the medical profession thinks to only way to treat strokes is through surgery - when it isn't. The vast majority of people who suffer from strokes are treated with anti clot busting drugs initially and then drugs to control high blood pressure plus life style changes. There's lots of advice on stroke prevention around for people to adjust their life styles, eg stop smoking, loose weight, improve diet, you get the picture.

So Anne Abbott has set up this strawman illusion that everyone is against her - when they are not!

AskingQuestionsAllTheTime Sun 27-Dec-20 14:41:44

I had a stroke. I was not treated with surgery. After the first twenty-four hours I was not treated at all, just kept in hospital for a week on the promise that "the stroke specialist will see you" -- when he eventually came round at the end of the week and told me he'd organised an appointment for ten days after the stroke happened, which is ten days too late to be much good, I signed myself out because the bed had made my back hurt so much that I reckoned I was better off in a place where I would not contract three separate conditions, one life-threatening, through negligence while being in constant agonising back-pain. Also I already knew the advice he would be giving me, since I had recently nursed my father after a stroke and had all the leaflets at home.

Nobody I know who has had a stroke was treated with surgery.

Heart attacks often do involve inserting a stent -- but even then the people who had done it told me firmly it was not surgery, just a procedure.

(Fascinating to watch, which they allowed me to do on a screen above the table they did it on: no anaesthetic was involved because as they told me, "if it hurts we're getting it wrong: scream at once.")

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