Rate of misdiagnosis getting worse!

Peggy Zuckerman peggyzuckerman at GMAIL.COM
Sat Sep 30 19:14:41 UTC 2017


​Dear Tom,
I do know that lawsuits are not the solution to the medical errors and sad
outcomes that do occur in our world.  And I sued, not with the expectation
to win.  I was a lawyer's daughter, knew enough about the legal system in
California, and knew that the legal costs would be mine to bear.  Aware of
that alone, and not having any other obvious recourse to bring attention to
the doctor (and his colleagues) as to the obvious misdiagnosis, I sued.
The personal satisfaction I had from doing that was to know that he and
others in his practice and hospital will never again be dismissive of a
patient with an extremely low hemoglobin (6.6hgb), which he attributed to a
'tiny, scabbed-over stomach ulcer'.
The first endoscopy pathology report which he certainly had access to
within 24-48 hours showed 'no frank ulcer and no H. pylori".  I assume that
he did not see this report or ignored it.  He may have ignored the
recommendations by the admitting ER doctor that I see a hematologist or
rheumatologist. He never took a personal health or family history until 7
months into my treatment, and upon my noting my father had been an
alcoholic, he set up a liver biopsy to "confirm the patient's cirrhosis".
The ultrasound in prep for that biopsy revealed a 10 cm tumor and the lower
lobes with multiple metastases.  And the race was on.

Had I known of another way to prevent him from dismissing this situation as
some unfortunate incident or stroke of bad luck, I would have used other
means.  There were none apparent to me.

On the solution side of things, for which I now work, I now advocate that
all patients get immediate access to all their medical records as soon as
they are created. (If the patient can't get the record immediately, one has
to assume that the doctor also lacks the record--and needed information--on
which to do his work.)  Had I had the path report and the ER doctor's
recommendations, I could have asked that simple, golden question, "What
else could it be?".

Had there been a visible system at the hospital who assigned me to the care
of this particular doctor, against despite the ER doctors' recommendations,
I would have filed a complaint/grievance/request for explanation.  Most
aggrieve and harmed patients really want to stop the ill-treatment, and to
know that their suffering will not be repeated by other patients.

I am alive and well because of the good medical system in the US, having
survived the Stage IV kidney cancer which was signaled by my 6.6
hemoglobin.  Family members are similarly alive and doing well, and in ten
minutes I will go visit a new grandson who was born, thanks to a
surrogacy.  My daughter had a botched surgery about 15 years prior, which
made it impossible to have children naturally, and yet there is a beautiful
newborn.  I am thankful for these many blessings, and determined to be part
of the solution to stopping misdiagnoses and medical errors.

SIncerely,
Peggy

Peggy Zuckerman
www.peggyRCC.com

On Sat, Sep 30, 2017 at 9:46 AM, Twest54973 <twest54973 at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Peggy
>
> Its disheartening that you even mention that lawsuits are a "solution" or
> remedy for the current state of affairs
>
> Lawsuits rarely improve hospital care processes: instead,  they are
> helping bankrupt our healthcare system via the over usage if defensive
> medicine , forcing doctors to change their practice patterns , and actually
> can hurt future pts
>
> As an high risk pregnancy obstetrician  practicing in a highly litigious
> state , I have been sued approx 12 times in my 25 yr career and have three
> active lawsuits against me right now ... (american families unfortunately
> have an unrealistic perception of the ability of modern obstetrics to
> prevent fetal injury and harm)
>
> Litigation is one important reason why the cesarean rate in the USA is
> around 33%
>
> And the repeat cesarean rate is around 90%
>
> Which can and does result in harm to women
>
> Simple example of inappropriate litigation : a parent carries a familial
> gene for a thrombophilia (gene that predispose to blood clots), the baby
> develops a stroke before birth resulting in harm, family sues because the
> baby wasn't delivered "before the stroke" ; hospital system settles the
> case to avoid prolonged and expensive litigation
>
> Obviously true medical errors do occur but the tort system is filled with
> cases of harm that were not the result of medical error (at least in
> obstetrics)
>
> We need to focus on revamping the tort system and developing a "no-fault
> injury compensation" system similar to the vaccine manufacturer system
> whereby hospitals are encouraged/mandated to report true errors (in order
> to fix the relevant etiologies)
>
> And where the injured pts are duly compensated and included in the
> remediation process
>
> Respectfully
> Tom
>
> Thomas Westover MD
> Vice Chair NJ section
> American College OBGYN
> Chair: NJ Hospital Association Statewide Perinatal Safety Collaborative
> Cooper Medical School
> Camden NJ
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> On Sep 29, 2017, at 1:00 PM, Peggy Zuckerman <peggyzuckerman at GMAIL.COM>
> wrote:
>
> Jason, I would say that most patients are either too busy trying to deal
> with the consequences of the medical errors, or think that these errors are
> atypical--that they had the single bad doctor or single poor hospital.
>
> Furthermore, as they come to understand that they have been harmed, there
> is no clear way to correct those errors or even bring some attention to a
> problem.  Often, the only option seems to bring a legal suit, and few
> patients have the heart or financial resources to do that.
>
> Peggy
>
> Peggy Zuckerman
> www.peggyRCC.com
>
> On Fri, Sep 29, 2017 at 8:05 AM, Jason Maude <
> jason.maude at isabelhealthcare.com> wrote:
>
>> The NPSF has just published an updated survey (attached with my
>> highlights) of Americans’ experiences of medical error with pretty shocking
>> results.
>>
>>
>>
>> As a survey, we may think less of it but it essentially repeats and
>> expands on questions from the first one done in 1997 and also one which our
>> founding charity commissioned in 2005. The results are very consistent
>> across all them. They also all used sample sizes of well over 2,000.
>>
>>
>>
>> The shocking take away for me is that effectively the number of Americans
>> who say they have experienced a misdiagnosis personally or of someone close
>> to them is 24%, up from 17.5% in 2005. This is almost 1 in 4 of the adult
>> population!
>>
>>
>>
>> Either the figures are rubbish or how is it there are not riots on the
>> streets?!
>>
>>
>>
>> Regards
>>
>> Jason
>>
>>
>>
>> Jason Maude
>>
>> Founder and CEO Isabel Healthcare
>> Tel: +44 1428 644886 <+44%201428%20644886>
>> Tel: +1 703 879 1890 <(703)%20879-1890>
>> www.isabelhealthcare.com
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
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Moderator: David Meyers, Board Member, Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine


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