When you don't feel well, you go to see a doctor, believing that they will be able to help you. However, this is not always the case for some Providence residents and for people in other parts of the country. The number of people who suffer because of a wrong diagnosis indicates that this is a growing problem, bringing up the question of why it is so easy for a doctor to get it wrong. After all, there is modern technology and a vast amount of information now available. Is the misdiagnosis problem tied to deeper issues?
Earlier this week, we began a discussion about a meta-analysis recently released by researchers out of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The analysis centers on rates of missed diagnosis and misdiagnosis in American ICUs. Unfortunately, the results do not bode well for patient safety.
The intensive care unit (ICU) is a frightening place. This unit is where the hospital receives its most gravely ill and injured patients, provided that they survive the emergency room and the surgical floor. Because the patients housed in ICU are so critically ill or injured, the web of care providers, testing, tubes and monitors assigned to a single patient is infinitely complex.
Back in 2005, a 22-year-old Rhode Island college student was working out when she discovered an unusual golf ball-sized lump near her groin. At first, she thought it might have been a sports injury. But, when the lump hadn't disappeared a month later, she became worried and went to the doctor.
Despite being the leading cause of death among women, heart disease, and related heart attacks often go undiagnosed or are diagnosed too late to avoid major damage. According to a recent study, 15 percent of heart attack patients who are women will die in the hospital compared to only 10 percent of men.
Treating a misdiagnosed ectopic pregnancy with methotrexate may cause a miscarriage or result in deformities upon birth in an otherwise normal pregnancy according to a study performed by Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS). While the study group was quite small, investigators believe the results strongly indicate the need to improve tools for the accurate diagnosis of an ectopic pregnancy.