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David Plaut: Off the Cuff

Mis-Diagnoses In the ICU

Published October 29, 2012 3:04 PM by David Plaut

A recent study of mis-diagnoses in ICU patients found that the number of errors is about 8%. The most common errors were in the diagnosis of infection (pneumonia and aspergillosis) and pulmonary embolism and acute myocardial infarction. From the publications examined, 5863 autopsies (median rate 43%) were analyzed. The prevalence of mis-diagnoses ranged from 5.5%-100% with 28% of autopsies reporting at least one misdiagnosis and 8% identifying a diagnostic error. While it cannot be stated that the mis-diagnosis was the cause of mortality or morbidity, the possibility exists. Thus there is a potential for some 40,000 adult patients in the U.S. may die annually from such an error.

posted by David Plaut


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