Monday 22 January 2018

Asking Dr Google for its non-expert help can be a truly dangerous thing

Dr David Burke warned that looking up symptoms online can cause people unnecessary alarm Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Dr David Burke warned that looking up symptoms online can cause people unnecessary alarm Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Arlene Harris

We have all sought the advice of Dr Google at some point or other to self-diagnose minor ailments. But relying on the internet to determine the state of your health or, worse, to analyse serious symptoms can be a very dangerous thing.

Dr David Burke, Consultant Cardiologist and Head of Cardiology at the Beacon Hospital, says while there are many useful sites available online for those who want to do a little research, it can cause unnecessary alarm.

"There is a lot of helpful information on the internet and patients can glean useful notes to help them to be prepared when visiting their doctor," he says. "It also helps them to understand what may be wrong and what is involved in their treatment.

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