Can Doctors do Mathematics?

Am interesting question you may ask. Of Course! I hear you say. I could never do algebra and logarithms, couldn't see the point in it, but I could add, subtract, multiply and divide, especially if it was about money! With my recent obsession with deciphering blood test results, I have realised that they are misleading!!??** Take for instance my Vit B 12 reading - it reads 203 in a range of 120 - 625. So you look at 203 and think so that about a third in the range. BUT NO. The range starts at 120 - subtract 120 from 625 and you have 505 - that is 505 "points" in the range. You with me? My reading is 203 - subtract 120 from 203 and you have 83. So I have 83 points in a range of 505 points which means that you (I) have less than one FIFTH of the range!! But on first glance it doesn't appear like that it seems more. I'll let you have a think about this before I do another example! Love to ALLx

11 Replies

  • I'll raise you a TSH result!

    3.3 is, apparently, 'smack bang right in the middle of normal' according to my GP. So the range is 0.3-5, therefore 3.3 is 3 from the bottom and 1.7 from the top. Not really in the middle then????

  • Nooo. you've got it! If the range is 3 - 500 - which it is - then your score is 330. 3 from 500 =497 - a range of 497 points or markers 497 minus 330 =167 points from the top - definetly not half way xx

  • I worked out the percentile at some point, which was 79th, am I getting obsessed?? :-D

  • Hang on, it was 79th when it was 4, 64th when it was 3.3 ;-)

  • as a total figure maniac [ sad that I am ] .....all figures can and are adjusted to suit the specific purpose ..... prime example ----- on an advert on the television it may say that 78% of 177 people surveyed stated that they liked or endorsed or found this product super ==== which on the face of it sounds as if the product is brilliant , but , it doesn't ever say that out of 177 people surveyed 40 either didn't like it or hated it [ almost a quarter ] just look at the small print on the tele adverts ......and ALL these figures will and are adjusted in every part of our lives ......alan xx

  • Yes - statistics can be made to endorse anything if you wangle them enough. The point I suppose I am trying to make is that a Doc would glance at your "score" - in my case 203 - and look at the last figure 560 - and think it was about half way which of course is far from the case. Perhaps I should have couched my post as "Do doctors have time to do Maths?" instead. I think that every surgery, especially large ones, should employ someone to go through each blood test and do the Math properly. My "good iron store" was 200 above the scale - he did not see it as important, yet it is a strong sign of heamochromatosis - that plus the ALT being 50 above the range further indicates this. I shan't get further with this one until I have seen another Doc in the surgery on the 29th - and we will see if this one can do Maths!! xx

  • exactly my point ..... everyone has a preconceived idea of what the figures will show ----- and will always stick by THAT ....unless you can prove by your own figures the exact opposite [ I have done that many times ] ...and stick by them and disprove the others ....alan xx

  • Have a go at this one..... I'm using 75mcgs Levo.

    I was prescribed 2 Pkts of 28 X 50 mcgs and 2 pkts of 28 X 25 mcgs for 2 mths supply ....perfectly fine except I realised I had been prescribed the brand I didn't want as my usual brand don't do 25s, so sent a message to my GP asking if I could be changed to the brand I would prefer and that 3 Pkts of 28 X 50 mcgs would last 2 months as I can use a pill cutter for 1 pack to get the 25s. When I went to the chemist to collect them I was given a bottle of loose tablets.When I arrived home I counted them out .....there was 56 X 50 mcgs! I decided to go straight back and get the extra ones while the assistant remembered me.I was in the chemist for about 10mts and the prescription had to go back to my GP for changing as they could only prescribe what was written on the form,so I couldn't have them..............guess what...that's not all!

    When I got back to my car, the parking restrictions have changed and as I had returned within 4 hrs...I picked up a parking fine for £50.Fortunately I was able to pay it at my Post Office that day so halved to £25 and a lesson learned.

    Ah well !....... I do try !.........what were we saying about mathematics ?

  • hi there marfit , firstly if you needed 28 half tablets for 2 months supply the pharmacy should have either given you 14 tablets - 28 halves equals 14 tablets -or put another battery in their calculator -- and NOT 56 - that would make 112 half tablets - that's maths for you !!!..... secondly the pharmacy DOES NOT NEED TO RE-CONSULT THE DOCTOR for another prescription [ this is usually done so that they then receive 2 payments form the nhs to actually prescribe 1 medication ---- I have proved this recently and the pharmacy is currently ' under severe scrutiny ' ].....lastly I personally would have challenged the parking ticket on the grounds of ' a procedural impropriety ' as they [ the authority or enforcement agency ] had NOT made available sufficient and obvious information to allow you to NOT BE IN CONTRAVENTION and therefor receive the ticket ------ I have taken up many case for others in the past 3 years and I have yet to lose one ----even as far as TPAS .....alan xx

  • They don't need a new prescription IF you open the packet while you are still in the shop!!! But once you have left you could have removed whatever it was! That said, I was having issues with a script, got a new one for a different make but they didn't have the full amount, just one strip of 14. I said this will do for now, I'll collect the rest tomorrow. Went in, asked for the other 14, given a small box and left. Got home to find 4! So had to go back AGAIN for the other 10 and got given another 14! *rolls eyes*

  • that's exactly why I insist on checking all the meds within the parcel , not only to check quantities but also , and more importantly the manufacturer/supplier ......and if there is any differential I INSIST THAT THEY [the pharmacy] correct it with immediate effect [ all pharmacies can get meds from a supplier within 2-3 hours [ mainland ] if they go to the right company ] ....if they then tell me that I have to return to collect I INSIST THAT AS IT IS THEIR PROBLEM THEY HAVE TO DELIVER and then ask what TIME they will be delivering by really does work and I can prove it .....alan xxx

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