Friday, November 10, 2006

Doctors misdiagnose fatal illnesses 20% of the time

from the Daily Mail:

The internet search engine Google has added another impressive string to its bow - by helping doctors diagnose illnesses, according to a new study.

Researchers found that almost six-in-10 difficult cases can be solved by using the world wide web as a diagnostic aid.

Doctors fight disease by carrying about two million facts in their heads but with medical knowledge expanding rapidly, even this may not be enough.

Misdiagnosis is still a common occurrence in the medical profession despite all the tools available such as the blood tests and state of the art scanning equipment.

Studies of autopsies have shown doctors seriously misdiagnose fatal illnesses about 20 per cent of the time.

So millions of patients are being treated for the wrong disease. And the more astonishing fact may be that the rate has not really changed since the 1930s.

So a team at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane identified 26 difficult diagnostic cases published in the New England Journal of Medicine last year, including obscure conditions such as Cushing's syndrome and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

***See also -->

Lawyers on both sides of the aisle say that some doctors, faced with the reality that even a confidential settlement will end up on the Internet, are opting to take their chances in court.

They are exercising the right available under most medical malpractice policies to withhold their consent to settle, even when it goes against the wishes of their carriers and advice of counsel.

"Doctors do not want to settle at all now that it has to be reported to the databank for any payment whatsoever," says defense lawyer Richard Amdur.

Amdur used to settle about a third of his cases but estimates that the figure has dropped recently to 10 to 15 percent. The impact is mainly felt in cases under $100,000, says Amdur, of Eatontown, N.J.'s Amdur, Maggs & McGann.


"60 Minutes" on 16 March 2008 discussed the incident involving the twins of Dennis Quaid.

Heparin (Baxter) has had difficulties with confusion about the label. The Quaids are suing Baxter on behalf of their twins. The error at Cedars in LA was a preventable, human error.

Quaid talked about a conspiracy of silence among medical practitioners.

Baxter did later recall Heparin, but NOT because of the Quaids. There was a contamination matter about the production facility in China.


Post a Comment

<< Home