New research has found that diagnostic errors were common among patients with spinal epidural abscesses. The research, published in an article in the American Journal of Medicine, was based on Department of Veterans Affairs health records of patients with the condition, which can lead to spinal compression and severe health problems if not treated. Reviewing records of 119 patients with spinal epidural abscesses, researchers found that 56 percent had experienced diagnostic error. Red flags that were frequently missed in the error cases included unexplained fever, neurological deficits with progressive or disabling symptoms, and infection. The study’s authors, funded in part by AHRQ, concluded that diagnostic errors resulted from inadequate patient histories, physical exams and test ordering. Access the abstract.
Errors in Diagnosis of Spinal Epidural Abscesses in the Era of Electronic Health Records. - PubMed - NCBI
Am J Med. 2017 Mar 30. pii: S0002-9343(17)30323-6. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2017.03.009. [Epub ahead of print]
Errors in Diagnosis of Spinal Epidural Abscesses in the Era of Electronic Health Records.
Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.
back pain; diagnostic delays; diagnostic errors; red flags; spinal epidural abscess