Today’s New York Times has a scary report about medical errors. Ever since it was disclosed that medical errors may account for more deaths than breast cancer and car accidents combined, they have been getting a lot more attention. (Very warranted IMO) This article about a recent study of medical errors concludes that they occur with pediatric patients with higher frequency than even surgical patients.
I already told the story about a doctor trying to talk my mom out of investigating symptoms in my younger brother that later turned out to be a brain tumor here. The book I wrote about in that post and this new study conclude that poor communication is to blame. Considering that a health care practitioner is supposed to be trained to listen as part of their diagnostic skills, I think the heavier weight of the communication errors should fall on their shoulders. I always tried to take the time to listen with an open mind and ask questions with women at the birth center where I trained.