Social media’s life-saving impact on patient care

85% of Physicians Polled Believe Patient Care Improved Through Use of Sermo & Social Media

Sermo, the world’s largest online community for physicians, today announced its weekly hot topic. Over 400 physicians responded to a Sermo poll and discussion with first-hand experiences about how advice they’ve received from colleagues on Sermo has improved patient outcomes, and in some cases, even saved lives.

Through Sermo, physicians are able to collaborate with each other across specialties, times zones and state lines. One general surgeon immediately consulted colleagues on Sermo when a patient began screaming in pain after undergoing laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery. Two psychiatric colleagues quickly suggested a diagnosis of “Lyrica withhold syndrome.” After the physician explored this condition, he restarted Lyrica and “within two hours the patient was fine.” In fact, by consulting Sermo, the physician spared her patient a 2nd exploratory surgical procedure to find the source of pain.

An OBGYN who frequently posts difficult patient cases on Sermo was able to help a patient with a “cholesterol polyp” in the gallbladder, which leads to pain and vomiting. Several colleagues suggested a Cholecystectomy. Upon gallbladder removal, the patient was cured of the pain and vomiting episodes. Within five days of surgery, the patient was back at work- ending a year-long battle with abdominal pain and complications.

Recently, a rural Hospitalist posted an unusual case about a patient who was unable to stop moving for over three days with no relief. Afraid this condition would become fatal, the physician asked his colleagues on Sermo for help. One immediately suggested giving him amantadine. This assisted the physician in diagnosing and treating Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome, a rare and life threatening neurological disorder most often caused by an adverse reaction to neuroleptic or antipsychotic drugs. Within one hour of receiving the medication, the patient fell asleep, made a full recovery in the hospital and was discharged. The physician wrote of his experience, “In less time than it would take me to get a neurologist to come to the phone, I had 10 opinions on what to do.”

Among many physicians, using social media for quick consults is becoming commonplace. A Pediatrician from Missouri cites Sermo as “the first place that I come to for second opinions. It really utilizes the power of the internet, in a good way.” Another Family Physician from Texas writes that his use of Sermo “has and continues to make me a better doctor.”

To view the full discussion and polling results, visit the Sermo Blog at

About Sermo

Sermo is the largest online physician community, where over 114,000 physicians collaborate to improve patient care. Sermo provides access to its community for clients that need fast, actionable insights into treatments, drugs and devices. Learn more at

Sermo Contact:

Andrea Squitieri
P: 617-229-5188