Thursday, 10 May 2012

Liverpool Care Pathway – Diagnosis Can be Fatal

According to Chris Voyeur, a skilled practitioner of LCP -

"For a patient to be cared for in accordance with the Liverpool Care Pathway the medical team must have already reached the diagnosis that a patient is dying. One of the criteria which guides the decision is that ALL reversible causes for the patinets current deterioration have been considered and appropriately managed. Yes, sometimes they get that initial decision wrong which is why around 3% of patients 'come off' the pathway"

In some hospitals, this initial wrong decision has caused the LCP to become known as the Lazarus Care Pathway. These are the cases where a wrong decision has been recognised as such by the medical team and the victim is removed from the protocol.

The toll of mounting cases where the initial decision is not recognised to be in error and the LCP proceeds upon its inexorable course to produce tragedy or last minute rescue by traumatised relatives are mounting. What proportion of the remaining cases would otherwise have survived had they not been placed on the LCP one can only surmise. Misdiagnosis, Misdiagnosis, Misdiagnosis!

Four doctors were in agreement and diagnosed Steven Thorpe to be brain dead. That nearly killed him!

The facts are that the statistics show as many as 9 million patients nationwide in the US are harmed each year. According to Graber and other researchers, deaths and serious harm associated with diagnostic errors are uncommon even though an estimated 5 percent to 15 percent of medical diagnoses are incorrect. But for those harmed, Graber said the impact can be devastating.

And for those placed on the Liverpool Care Pathway, the diagnosis can be fatal!

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