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Arch Med Sadowej Kryminol. 2011 Oct-Dec;61(4):377-82.

[Diagnostic medical error as an overinterpretation of toxicology screening combined with inadequate clinical assessment].

[Article in Polish]

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  • 1Z Katedry Medycyny Sadowej UJ CM.


Problems of patient safety within the system of health care are defined by prescriptive and ethical regulations; a breach of such regulations is associated with entering a complex category of situations covered by the term "medical error" or "appropriateness of medical management". In order to minimize the sources of diagnostic errors, with the knowledge on such errors largely originating from medico-legal practice, numerous initiatives emerge, according to which monitoring of adverse events and subjecting such events to a profound discussion is the most important element of prevention. The problem discussed in the paper is illustrated by the case of a 13-year old boy, in whom opioid poisoning was mistakenly diagnosed instead of a neurological condition in consequence of the physician disregarding significant symptoms of the disease and accepting his subjective suspicion of poisoning. The erroneous diagnosis was further compounded by lack of verification of the preliminary diagnosis and failure to perform further laboratory diagnostic management addressing the neurological status of the patient. The presented case supports data from publications found in the literature on the subject that describe a high risk of diagnostics errors in neurological conditions; such errors are often committed by emergency physicians other than neurologists.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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