A recent study concluded that most of the United States inhabitants will get at least on wrong or late diagnosis during their lifetime – possibly with devastating effects.
Although the report could not quantify exactly what is the magnitude of the situation, the research team are concerned by the issue. The National Academy of Medicine criticizes the incoherent medical system that currently is not helping in the identification of the problem.
The proposed solution coming the National Academy of Medicine suggests that pathologists should get involved more actively in their patient’s diagnosis. The Academy also calls for changes in medical mismanagement, so that doctors should not be afraid to own up to their mistakes.
Dr, John Ball, who wrote the report, is the chairman of the Committee on Diagnostic Error in Medicine. He said that any patient will most likely experience one wrong diagnostic during their lifetime.
Ball said that he doesn’t clearly know whose fault is it, and that he needs to study the matter in order to find out more about it. He claims that this is an understudied problem in medicine and that it is time for someone to shed some light on it.
The report says that at least 5% of the American patients receive a diagnostic error once a year. One of the most concerning findings is that postmortem records suggest that 10% of patient deaths are due to diagnostic errors. Diagnostic errors are also associated with 12% of the adverse events from hospitals according to medical records. Generally, patients suffer from more than one diagnostic error.
The National Academy of Medicine says that patience and multiple diagnoses would help patients find what is wrong with them.
The Academy have suggests patients to be as accurate as possible when they are telling their clinician about their possible illnesses. Patients should tell them where the symptoms established for the first time and what they think they made it worse.
Patients should also remember all of the treatments they’ve tried in the past, whether they helped or not, and if they came with any side effects. The Academy suggests that is also very important for patients to keep their own records of hospital admissions and test results, as well as a comprehensible list of all the medication they are taking.
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