Johns Hopkins Medicine – the same facility that deemed medical errors the third leading cause of death in America – has opened a new center to address the prevalence of diagnostic errors. The goal is to reduce the harm caused by delayed and missed diagnoses
. Their first focus will be on reducing the failed diagnosis of stroke. Why stroke, and what can we expect to see come out of the new center? The following explains further.
Complexities in Medicine Can Make Accurate Diagnosis Difficult
Medicine is a science, but it is not always exact. Patients who suffer from a condition can have a host of symptoms that seem unrelated or benign. Further, there are many conditions that can have similar or overlapping symptoms, which can make it difficult to determine the exact cause of the symptoms. In some cases, the confusion and delay can become fatal.For example, those suffering from a stroke may exhibit symptoms of a migraine headache and/or dizziness instead of the typically seen weakness in one arm or speech difficulties. Such symptoms do not generally call for alarm, yet a recent study found that around 25 percent of patients who had been seen in an emergency room for seemingly benign conditions suffered a severe stroke within 48 hours of a misdiagnosis.
Johns Hopkins Says They Can Do Better
While it might be easy to lean on the excuse that diagnostic medicine is difficult, Johns Hopkins says it is possible to do better. Even with the uncertainty, complexities, and incomplete information, the errors and delays in diagnosis can be reduced. This is what they aim to do at their Armstrong Institute Center for Diagnostic Excellence. It will be run and overseen by a multidisciplinary team, including nurses, doctors, and scientists. Their first goal is to reduce the harm of undetected stroke by at least 50 percent over the next five years.
Why focus on stroke first? The study that determined some 25 percent of strokes might be misdiagnosed determined that somewhere between 15,000 and 165,000 other cases occur each year. Given that the possible outcome and survival rate for stroke can be hinged on the amount of time that lapses between the start and treatment, eliminating delays could make a massive difference in the lives of patients. Plus, stroke is an all-too-common health condition these days. Put all of this together and it is no wonder the center decided to make stroke a priority.
Our Deer Park Malpractice Attorneys Help Medical Error Victims Seek Compensation
While centers like Johns Hopkins might be making progress, medical error is still one of the lead causes of death in America. At Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC, we fight for the rights and compensation of medical malpractice victims. In every situation, we pursue the most favorable outcome possible. Receive an analysis of your case. Schedule a consultation with our Deer Creek personal injury lawyers
by calling 847-934-6000 today.
About the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.