Navigation Links
Missed Diagnoses in ICU Often Have Deadly Results: Review
Date:8/28/2012

TUESDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Misdiagnosis causes or contributes to as many as 40,500 patient deaths in intensive care units in U.S. hospitals each year, which is about the same number of deaths caused each year by breast cancer.

That's the finding of a team of researchers who reviewed 31 studies that provided details about more than 5,800 autopsies conducted to detect diagnostic errors in adult intensive care unit (ICU) patients.

The investigators found that 28 percent of those ICU patients -- more than one in four -- had at least one missed diagnosis at death. In 8 percent of the patients, the diagnostic error was serious enough that it may have caused or directly contributed to the patients' deaths and, if known, would have led to changes in their treatment.

Infections and vascular conditions, such as heart attack and stroke, accounted for more than three-quarters of the fatal diagnostic errors, according to the researchers at the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality.

The conditions most commonly missed by medical staff included heart attack; pulmonary embolism, typically a blood clot in the lungs; pneumonia; and aspergillosis, a fungal infection that most commonly affects people with a weakened immune system. Together, these four conditions accounted for about one-third of all illnesses that doctors failed to detect in ICU patients.

The study was released online in advance of print publication in the journal BMJ Quality & Safety.

Despite the fact that diagnostic errors in the ICU claim so many lives a year, they are an underappreciated cause of preventable patient harm, the study authors noted in a Johns Hopkins news release.

"Our study shows that misdiagnosis is alarmingly common in the acute care setting," lead author Dr. Bradford Winters, an associate professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine and neurology and surgery in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said in the news release.

"To date, there's been very little research to determine root causes or effective interventions," Winters said. He pointed out that less-deadly patient safety risks have received greater attention.

He and his colleagues also found that adult ICU patients are up to two times more likely to be the victim of a potentially fatal diagnostic mistake than adult hospital patients overall.

"It may be counterintuitive to think that the patients who are the most closely monitored and frequently tested are more commonly misdiagnosed, but the ICU is a very complex environment," Winters said.

In the ICU, doctors have to cope with a huge amount of information in a distracting setting in which the sickest patients in the hospital compete for attention, and most of the patients can't communicate with their medical team, he explained.

"We need to develop better cognitive tools that can take into account the 7,000 or more pieces of information that critical care physicians are bombarded with each day to ensure we're not ruling out potential diagnoses," Winters said.

Even if misdiagnoses in the ICU do not lead to patient death, they can lead to unnecessary surgery, a longer hospital stay and reduced quality of life for patients.

The study findings highlight the need for more research to identify the causes of misdiagnosis in the ICU and to develop ways to help doctors more accurately assess patients, the researchers concluded.

More information

The Society of Critical Care Medicine has more about critical care.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Johns Hopkins Medicine, news release, Aug. 27, 2012


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Poor oral health can mean missed school, lower grades
2. Low-dose whole-body CT finds disease missed on standard imaging for patients with multiple myeloma
3. Johns Hopkins team finds ICU misdiagnoses may account for as many annual deaths as breast cancer
4. Dr. Davis Announces Some Diagnoses of ADHD May be Misinterpreted Visual Problems: Could Be Treated with Vision Therapy
5. With Very Sick Infants, Doctors and Parents Often Miscommunicate
6. Patients Often Kept in Dark About Off-Label Drug Use: Study
7. Doctors often dont disclose all possible risks to patients before treatment
8. Parents Spank, Slap Kids in Public More Often Than Thought
9. Why do infants get sick so often?
10. Sleep Loss Often Disruptive for City Kids With Asthma
11. College Students Who Use Tanning Beds Often Burn: Study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Missed Diagnoses in ICU Often Have Deadly Results: Review
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to ... Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to ... fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network of independent freestanding emergency ... its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased to announce Dr. Ogunleye ... M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. , Dr. Ogunleye ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June ... a Bronze Wellness at Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments ... of the 7th annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those ... deal with these feelings, many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol ... of Marne, Michigan, has released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... and Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new grants ... grants came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... OAKLAND, N.J. , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... in the design, development and manufacturing of collagen ... and regeneration announced today that Bill Messer ... Sales and Marketing to further leverage the growing ... surgery medical devices. Bill joins the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 The Academy ... of recommendations that would allow biopharmaceutical companies ... with entities that make formulary and coverage decisions, a ... "value" of new medicines. The recommendations address ... not appear on the drug label, a prohibition that ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016   Pulmatrix, Inc ... company developing innovative inhaled drugs, announced today that it ... Russell Investments reconstituted its comprehensive set of U.S. ... "This is an important milestone for Pulmatrix," said ... increase shareholder awareness of our progress in developing drugs ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: