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Young docs scrutinized after patient death

A 19 year old female was misdiagnosed on 3 separate occasions by graduate doctors when presenting to the emergency rooms with pneumonia before she was found dead by a housemate. The woman had complained of a nonspecific flu-type illness with joint pain and neck stiffness, which was ruled not to be due to meningitis by a senior doctor. A chest x-ray was taken at this time under suspicion of pneumonia, but it was incorrectly diagnosed as being a viral illness due to the absence of a radiographer to interpret the x-ray. She subsequently returned to the hospital another 2 times before being discharged by the unsupervised junior doctors as she was feeling well and died of an aneurysm the following day.

Source: summary of medical news story as reported by The New Zealand Herald

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About: Young docs scrutinized after patient death

Date: 27 December 2005

Source: The New Zealand Herald

Author: Errol Kiong, NZPA


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