Study Finds 21 Percent of Patients are Misdiagnosed

Do I Need A Second Opinion?

A study published in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice on April 4, 2017, found that more than 20 percent of patients are misdiagnosed. The study titled “Extent of Diagnostic Agreement Among Medical Referrals” looked at the diagnosis originally given to patients and compared that to the diagnosis later given upon the patient seeking a second opinion.

Study Finds 21 Percent of Patients are Misdiagnosed - Austin-TX-Chiropractor-Sciatica-Leg-Pain-Butt-Down-FootThe study reviewed the records of 286 patients who were referred by their primary care doctor to the Mayo Clinic’s General Internal Medicine Division in Rochester, Minn., over a two-year period from Jan. 1, 2009 to Dec. 31, 2010.

Overall, the results showed only 12 percent of those seeking a second opinion at the Mayo Clinic had their diagnoses confirmed. However, 21 percent of the patients had their diagnosis completely changed, while 66 percent of those patients received a refined or redefined diagnosis. Overall, the study showed that almost 88 percent of patients seeking a second opinion at the Mayo Clinic receive a new or refined diagnosis.

Previous research cited in the new study showed that errors in diagnosis “…contribute to approximately 10 percent of patient deaths.” Additionally they “…account for 6 to 17 percent of adverse events in hospitals.”

“Effective and efficient treatment depends on the right diagnosis,” said study co-author James Naessens, a health care policy researcher at the Mayo Clinic, in an April 4th press release in Science Daily. “Knowing that more than 1 out of every 5 referral patients may be completely [and] incorrectly diagnosed is troubling — not only because of the safety risks for these patients prior to correct diagnosis, but also because of the patients we assume are not being referred at all.”

In a Washington Post article, Mark L. Graber, a senior fellow at the research institute RTI International and founder of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine, who was not involved with the study noted, “Diagnosis is extremely hard. There are 10,000 diseases and only 200 to 300 symptoms.” He added, “Doctors are humans, and they make the same cognitive mistakes we all make. If you are given a serious diagnosis, or you’re not responding the way you should [to medication], a second opinion is a very good idea. Fresh eyes catch mistakes.”

Second opinions are still encouraged, but the concern is that they may be limited due to in-network insurance issues preventing patients from seeking second opinions. In response to the problem of diagnosis error, the National Academy of Medicine has called for dedicated federal funding for improved diagnostic processes and error reduction.

It is obvious that there is an increase in cost both in diagnosis and medical treatment if the first diagnosis is not confirmed by the second opinion. However, Naessens sums up the concerns if a second opinion is not sought saying, “Total diagnostic costs for cases resulting in a different final diagnosis were significantly higher than those for confirmed or refined diagnoses, but the alternative could be deadly.”

If you or anyone you know could benefit from a better functioning nervous system, please call us at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson. Austin chiropractor located in north central Austin, TX.


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Improvement Following Chiropractic Care in Boy with Traumatic Brain Injury

What is TBI? Can Chiropractors Help Traumatic Brain Injuries?

Published in the October 20, 2016, issue of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health is a case study showing a young boy who had suffered from issues related to a traumatic brain injury (TBI) being helped with chiropractic. According to the Mayo clinic, “Traumatic brain injury occurs when an external mechanical force causes brain dysfunction.”

improvement-following-chiropractic-care-in-boy-with-traumatic-brain-injury-austin-tx-pediatric-chiropractor-kids-children-baby-infant-son-daughterTBI occurs at a high rate in the general population. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1.7 million people sustain a TBI each year. Of these, it is estimated that 52,000 cases die, 275,000 people are hospitalized, and 1.365 million, about 80%, are treated and released from hospital emergency departments.

The study authors report that the usage of chiropractic for TBI is well documented and fairly common. However, in a literature search for research articles on chiropractic and TBI in children, this current study may be the only one that has been published.

In this case, an 11-year-old boy was brought to the outpatient clinic of a chiropractic college in Florida. The boy was experiencing decreased coordination in his left hand as well as a decrease in strength in his right leg. He was also exhibiting altered and slower speech.

The boy’s history revealed that the boy was in a motor vehicle accident five years earlier and sustained a traumatic brain injury along with a fractured right wrist, right femur, and pelvis. Prior to the accident, his mother reported that he broke his left wrist from a fall. His mother also stated that previous doctors had told her that nothing could be done to improve her son’s coordination. His family physician diagnosed the boy with traumatic encephalopathy, intellectual functioning disability, and acne.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included a postural inspection, spinal palpation, range of motion, and a variety of orthopedic testing. The conclusion based upon the examination was the presence of subluxations in the boy’s spine.

Over an eight month period of time, the boy’s coordination improved. He was also able to pronounce words more clearly, and his ability to perform certain types of exercises improved greatly. The boy’s mother reported that her son was able to perform daily living activities much better and had been hitting baseballs in the batting cage.

The study quoted one of the mother’s reports of her son’s improvement when she stated, “The other day he ran to me saying he was able to tie his shoes and had me watch him. He was not able to button his pants, dress himself, or tie his shoes before coming here to the clinic. Now he is able to button his pants, dress himself, and tie his shoes without any help. He is getting better grades in school and is now participating in sports and activities in his Physical Education class. He is so much happier and more independent.”

If you or anyone you know could benefit from a better functioning nervous system, please call us at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson. We are located in north central Austin, TX.


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Improvement of GERD Following Chiropractic Care – Case Study and Review

How Common is GERD? Does Chiropractic Care Help with Digestive Disorders?

A case study published in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research on July 11, 2016, documented a case of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) being helped by chiropractic in an adult patient.

Improvement of GERD Following Chiropractic Care - Austin Texas injury collision car truck accident care help attorneyThe Mayo Clinic website describes GERD by stating, “Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic digestive disease. GERD occurs when stomach acid or, occasionally, stomach content, flows back into your food pipe (esophagus). The backwash (reflux) irritates the lining of your esophagus and causes GERD.”

GERD is a common disorder. The study reports that 44% of the US population suffer from heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux symptoms at least once per month, 14% suffer weekly, and 7% have symptoms daily. Typical treatment for mild to moderate cases is over-the-counter antacids. More severe cases are medically treated using proton pump inhibitors (PPI).

In this case, a 35-year-old man presented himself to the chiropractor for help with GERD and mid back pain that he had been suffering with for the past two years. His problems were made worse by certain positions of his torso. Consuming certain foods including large meals, fried foods, spicy foods, and alcohol also made his condition worse. Medications and dietary change did not seem to help his situation which led him to try chiropractic care.

A chiropractic examination was performed including palpation, thermographic studies, and x-rays. Subluxations were determined to be present and a specific series of adjustments were begun to correct the detected subluxations.

During the initial portion of care, the patient noted that he did not have GERD symptoms after each of his adjustments. In one instance, he went several weeks without any symptoms until an incident at home caused a minor return of some GERD symptoms. His condition continued to improve under chiropractic care until he no longer needed the medication he was taking for his condition.

“A 35-year-old male presented for care with mid-back pain and gastroesophageal reflux disease. The patient suffered with these symptoms almost daily and was taking Prilosec to control condition,” the authors wrote in their conclusion. They summed up the response to chiropractic care by noting that “…the patient had resolution of GERD symptoms and improvement in quality of life.”

If you or anyone you know could benefit from a better functioning nervous system, please call us at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson. We are located in north central Austin, TX.


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