Discussions By Condition: Medical Errors

First, do no harm

Posted In: Medical Errors 0 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • February 14, 2010
  • 03:31 PM

Some misdiagnoses for consideration:


Symptom: severe back pain after lifting heavy objects.
Diagnosis 1: soft tissue injury.
Diagnosis 2: depression.
Actual cause: fractured vertebra due to undiagnosed osteoporosis.

Symptom: pain down left arm into hand with plainly visible vesicles on skin.
Diagnosis: trapped nerve.
Actual cause: shingles.

Symptom: chest pain when lying down flat.
Diagnosis: heart attack.
Actual cause: chest muscle spasm.

My late mother:

Symptom: back pain, general malaise, slight confusion.
Diagnosis: flu.
Actual cause: lymphoma (stage 4).

My late uncle:

Symptom: abdominal/chest pain and discomfort.
Diagnosis: chronic heartburn.
Actual cause: stomach cancer.

On a related note, a friend of mine had to have damaged cartilage removed from his right knee. When he work up after surgery, he found that the surgeons had removed the cartilage from his (perfectly healthly) left knee.

Referenced on the American Iatrogenic Association website, the 2004 HealthGrades Patient Safety in Hospitals study found that 195,000 Americans die per year as a result of preventable medical errors in hospitals alone.

This is the equivalent of a 9/11 death toll every six days.

Another study puts the figure at 785,000, equivalent to a 9/11 every 36 hours, which would make the American medical system the leading cause of death and injury in the United States.

The 9/11 terrorist attacks led to the setting up of Homeland Security and other huge changes in many areas of life. Where is the equivalent for "medico-terrorism"? Where is the outrage?

I'm not signing my name for legal reasons.



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