Review of Internet Resources for the Treatment and Care of Hemangioma Patients

James Paul Taylor* James Paul Taylor*, Guys and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK, London, United Kingdom

Track: Practice
Presentation Topic: Health information on the web: Supply and Demand
Presentation Type: Poster presentation
Submission Type: Single Presentation

Last modified: 2012-09-12

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Medical professionals of the 21st century benefit greatly from utilising the Internet. As well as traditional resources such as journal articles, new sources of information are now readily available, including videos, audio files and high-definition images of many different clinical conditions. It is accessible through one piece of software, the web browser, and there is an opportunity to discuss issues with colleagues and experts all around the world. These benefits can improve health care decisions, prevent dangerous oversights, increase access to care, and reduce unnecessary costs.

However, with such a vast and varied supply of resources on the Internet, it is no surprise that amongst the excellent, there are also the poor – the quality is highly variable. There are many challenges and shortcomings to accessing Web-based information, more so for the general public than health practitioners. This should result in a cautious approach being undertaken when performing any Web-based search.

The term hemangioma has been utilised to describe a large number of vascular anomalies and tumours. In 1996, the International Society for the Study of Vascular Anomalies (ISSVA) proposed a classification system based on clinical, haemodynamic, radiological and pathological features, and biological behaviour. The ISSVA classified the lesions into two categories, namely vascular tumours and vascular malformations. The first group, which is caused by vascular proliferation, is referred to as hemangiomas and is more common than the second group. The second is associated with vessels with morphological anomalies.

When searching for medical information related to the treatment and care of hemangiomas on the Internet, there are a variety of strategies and portals available to obtain the required data. One can simply type the term into a generic search engine, such as Google (which produces over 94,000 results), or make use of a specific medical database such as PubMed, where the latest journal articles relating to the most current evidence based practice can be accessed. It is unfeasible to discuss every Internet resources relating to the management of patients with hemangiomas, as such a key few are selected and reviewed.

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