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Diagnostic errors in an accident and emergency department
  1. A Wakai1
  1. 1Department of Accident and Emergency Medicine, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin 9, Ireland

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    I commend the author for comprehensively investigating a complex area but found some important pieces of information missing in the study.1 Firstly, there is no information regarding the total number of patients seen in the accident and emergency (A&E) department during the study period. This information would put into better perspective the number of patients (934) who had recorded diagnostic errors and would allow for more scientifically valid comparison of the findings of this study by other A&E departments. Secondly, there is no record of the number of cases where there was dispute over the diagnosis between A&E clinician and radiologist. Furthermore, it seems the author alone made the final decision regarding the diagnosis in such cases. This is a very subjective method of diagnosis with little scientific validity. Moreover, there is no information as to the specific diagnosis made and subsequent management of this group of patients. The management of this subset …

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