Friday, April 25, 2008

Screening ADHD Kids with EKGs

Boy, it didn't take long for UVa Hospital to hop on the EKG bandwagon for kids with Attention Deficit, Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) after the AHA released their recommendations for EKG screening in kids on stimulant medications based on retrospective literature review and gut feelings.

Sheesh. I think Dr. Rob had the appropriate amount of skepticism here.

Although I know and respect many of the doctors who were tasked with making the best recommendation they could with little data on the subject, the AHA does a huge disservice to the doctor-specialists' credibility when they cozy up to the pharmaceutical companies with "roundtables" prior to such proclamations. One wonders if the Adderal folks helped with the recommendations before their exclusive patent expires in 2009, eh? Further, as the literature upon which the recommendations are based describe about a 2.3-3.5% false positive rate of EKG's in kids, this recommendation is going to cost more than one family a pretty penny.



Lisa said...

Just out of curiosity, do they also recommend ekg's for kids who are taking cough medicines and Z-packs?

Anonymous said...

"Most pediatricians are not good at interpreting EKG's and will refer patients out for benign abnormalities"

Seems to make sense to me. We have unskilled people making decisions based on limited knowledge, and that builds up overall insurance rates. What's wrong with that?