January 1, 2013
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The first Dodging the Bullet article was written and published in the September 2011 issue of ED Legal Letter. In the earlier article, as well as this article, a series of actual clinical cases are presented that could have turned out differently if the wrong management decision had been made. The goals of this article remain the same as the earlier one: to glean important points of educational and teaching value from each of the reported high risk cases; and to highlight the fact that clinical misadventures are often a single judgment call away from a potential tragedy.
Missed acute myocardial infarction (AMI) cases are usually top of mind when it comes to ED malpractice litigation, but other lesser-known clinical pitfalls also result in claims, warns Martin Ogle, MD, FACEP, senior partner and vice president of CEP America, an Emeryville, CA-based provider of acute care management and staffing solutions.
When researchers at University Hospital Basel in Switzerland set out to study triage of elderly patients in their ED, they were surprised to find that 22.5% were undertriaged, reports Christian Nickel, MD, one of the studys authors and an emergency physician (EP).