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Dizziness as a missed symptom of central nervous system pathology: A review of malpractice cases

Dizziness as a missed symptom of central nervous system pathology: A review of malpractice cases Patients with dizziness account for fewer than 5% of ED visits,1 but they pose significant malpractice risks to emergency physicians. While most patients' symptoms are due to benign etiologies, an estimated 15% of patients with dizziness harbor more dangerous causes,1 and differentiating these groups of patients has proven to be challenging in the ED setting. For example, it is estimated that nearly 10% of strokes are missed on first presentation to the ED, and patients initially presenting with dizziness are the most likely to be misdiagnosed.2 While literature surrounding malpractice specific to dizziness is limited, in litigation involving strokes, emergency physicians are the most likely specialists to be named in malpractice suits, more often than neurologists, neurosurgeons, interventional radiologists, and radiologists combined.3 The goal of this investigation was to better understand the malpractice risks surrounding patients presenting to the ED with dizziness, including their clinical characteristics and outcomes.To better characterize cases leading to malpractice allegations, we performed an observational study of lawsuits related to patients who presented to the ED with dizziness or similar symptoms and were subsequently diagnosed with a central nervous system (CNS) cause. Adhering to the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) guidelines,4 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Academic Emergency Medicine Wiley

Dizziness as a missed symptom of central nervous system pathology: A review of malpractice cases

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References (7)

Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2023 Society for Academic Emergency Medicine
ISSN
1069-6563
eISSN
1553-2712
DOI
10.1111/acem.14627
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Patients with dizziness account for fewer than 5% of ED visits,1 but they pose significant malpractice risks to emergency physicians. While most patients' symptoms are due to benign etiologies, an estimated 15% of patients with dizziness harbor more dangerous causes,1 and differentiating these groups of patients has proven to be challenging in the ED setting. For example, it is estimated that nearly 10% of strokes are missed on first presentation to the ED, and patients initially presenting with dizziness are the most likely to be misdiagnosed.2 While literature surrounding malpractice specific to dizziness is limited, in litigation involving strokes, emergency physicians are the most likely specialists to be named in malpractice suits, more often than neurologists, neurosurgeons, interventional radiologists, and radiologists combined.3 The goal of this investigation was to better understand the malpractice risks surrounding patients presenting to the ED with dizziness, including their clinical characteristics and outcomes.To better characterize cases leading to malpractice allegations, we performed an observational study of lawsuits related to patients who presented to the ED with dizziness or similar symptoms and were subsequently diagnosed with a central nervous system (CNS) cause. Adhering to the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) guidelines,4

Journal

Academic Emergency MedicineWiley

Published: May 1, 2023

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