This Man's Simple System Could Transform American Medicine | WIRED: "Sometimes the NNT can be functionally infinite. Haney Mallemat, an emergency physician at the University of Maryland School of Medicine describes what happens to patients who come to the ER with upper gastrointestinal bleeding. They’re given an intravenous proton pump inhibitor and kept in the hospital, sometimes for as long as 72 hours. But Mallemat, who uses the NNT web site with his patients and students alike, points out that “of all the studies they’ve looked at, no person saw any benefit.” No one was harmed, either, unless you consider the cost and time spent in a hospital a harm, which most people would. (The practice gets a red on the NNT site.) But doctors administer proton pump inhibitors because administering proton pump inhibitors is what they’re trained to do. Habits—whether based on old literature, biased studies, or just educated hunches that get ingrained in protocol—die hard."
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