Diagnostic errors kill as many as breast cancer, study finds | On Call

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 8:29am
Mass Device

Missed medical conditions, which may account for as many annual deaths as breast cancer, are an underrated preventable cause of death, according to Johns Hopkins researchers.

MassDevice On Call

MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Medical errors in the intensive care unit may kill as many as 40,500 patients per year, putting diagnostics on par with breast cancer for patient mortality, according to a new study.

The problem is pervasive yet under-appreciated, researchers concluded based on studies of more than 5,800 autopsy reports from a wide variety of ICU types.

"Our study shows that misdiagnosis is alarmingly common in the acute care setting," lead author Dr. Bradford Winters said in prepared remarks. "To date, there's been very little research to determine root causes or effective interventions."


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