Can a GP work on 'gut instinct'?

Flame Health were intrigued to read about the findings of a recent study.
The study has suggested that GPs should listen to their gut instincts when assessing poorly children.
Researchers at the University of Oxford studied data from 3890 children who presented first to their GPs, looking at presenting features, clinical assessment and any subsequent diagnosis of serious infection. But they were also able to analyse the GP’s gut feeling at the time- defined as an intuitive feeling that something was wrong even if the clinician was unsure why.
Of those children that were clinically assessed as having a non-severe illness, 0.2% were subsequently admitted with a serious infection including meningitis, sepsis, pneumonia or pyelonephritis.
But a GP’s intuition that something was wrong was more than 25 times more likely to be recorded in the notes of one of these children.
Acting on the gut feeling would have spotted two of six missed cases of severe illness, such as meningitis or sepsis, at a cost of 44 false alarms, researchers found.

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