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‘More autopsies to perform helps to make better diagnoses’

‘More autopsies to perform helps to make better diagnoses’

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By more autopsy to do on patients in the hospital died, doctors can learn to better diagnoses. Currently almost a quarter of the diagnoses performed in patients who are still alive, is not correct.

This suggests examination of pathologist Judith Fronczek, who received his phd at the VU Medical Center in Amsterdam. “If the correct diagnosis was made before death, then the treatment would have been different. With other words than was, perhaps, prevent the patient died,” says Fronczek about the importance of autopsy at NRC.

As an example, she gives a patient according to the doctor to a urinary tract infection had died, but probably died due to a embolism in the lungs. Another patient seemed to be a fatal pneumonia, to have had, but this proved to be in reality not previously noticed, malignant lung tumour.

Other cause of death

Fronczek bases its conclusions on the commission of autopsy 460 death of adults from hospitals in Alkmaar, Zaandam and Hoorn. The deceased patients were between 20 and 96 years, with an average age of over 70.

In 23,5% of cases be autopsy on a different cause of death than at that time was fixed. It is not yet to say for sure whether this number can be extended to all of the deceased because doctors themselves also rather to autopsy to ask if they are in any doubt about a diagnosis.

Today, ask doctors, according to Fronczek less and less to autopsy because they have confidence in the modern techniques in the practice of medicine. “That give the false impression that we are all in the body can see, but that is not true. Some of the conditions you see on a ct scan, but you miss out on an x-ray.”

Little money

Also, a doctor only a part of the body of the patient and investigating, while the cause of death to be anywhere else.

The realization of more autopsies, according to Fronczek difficult. “Unfortunately, there is little money for it, hospitals have a limited game of for. And health insurers pay nothing more if the patient is already dead.”

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