Doctors’ Errors: They Happen More Than You Think (And Can Hurt You)

By Sandra G. Boodman This Kaiser Health News story produced in collaboration with The Washington Post Until it happened to him, Itzhak Brook, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Georgetown University School of Medicine, didn’t think much about the problem of misdiagnosis. That was before doctors at a Maryland hospital repeatedly told Brook his throat pain was the result of acid reflux, not cancer. The correct diagnosis was made by an astute resident who found the tumor  -  the size …

International Survey of Doctors Finds Alzheimer’s Often Misdiagnosed, Stigma Highest in U.K., France

Last week, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America released a study saying many caregivers initially mistake certain symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease for “normal aging.” But surely most doctors would fare better at diagnosing the disease, right? Maybe not. In a survey of nearly 1,000 physicians from five countries, nearly half said that Alzheimer’s often gets misdiagnosed. And when proper diagnosis does occur, it’s “always” or “often” too late to intervene in a meaningful way.

ICU Patients: Twice As Likely to Suffer Fatal Misdiagnosis

You would think that patients in a hospital’s intensive care unit would be the least likely to worsen or die simply because someone misdiagnosed their condition. Unfortunately, you would be wrong, say patient safety experts with Johns Hopkins University in a new study. Despite all the tests and close monitoring of ICU patients, researchers found that these patients face twice the risk of a fatal diagnostic error as compared with adult hospital patients overall. In fact, as many as 40,500 …