The Problem of Daily Imaging in the Intensive Care Unit: When You Care So Much It Hurts | Critical Care Medicine | JAMA Internal Medicine | JAMA Network
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Less Is More
July 27, 2020

The Problem of Daily Imaging in the Intensive Care Unit: When You Care So Much It Hurts

Author Affiliations
  • 1San Francisco Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, San Francisco, California
  • 2Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care, University of California, San Francisco
JAMA Intern Med. 2020;180(10):1369-1370. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.2667

As the economic and clinical fragilities of the world make themselves known during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the importance of resource use rises to the forefront of health care professionals’ minds. How does one weigh patient safety against cost, especially when dealing with critically ill patients, for whom mistakes can cost lives? In this issue, Maley and Stevens1 present a compelling example of a case where routine diagnostic examinations turned into a near-miss event. They argue that not only are seemingly innocuous care practices, such as daily chest radiographs (CXRs), expensive and inefficient, but also that significant underappreciated harms, including inappropriate interventions based on inaccurate results, abound.

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