Peer Reviewed
Medicolegal matters

‘I’ve never had such a bad headache’: a missed diagnosis

Nicole Kroesche, Walid Jammal
This is the second in a series of articles highlighting common medicolegal issues in general practice. Written by the claims and advocacy team at medical defence organisation Avant, the series is based on actual cases, with some details changed for privacy. Here, the opportunity to diagnose a serious medical condition was missed, leading to a catastrophic outcome for the patient.
Key Points

    Doctors are commonly faced with difficult management decisions. Sometimes these decisions can be influenced by red herrings, time and resource pressures, and at times, pressures from patients themselves. This case history illustrates that succumbing to these pressures, failing to act on your ‘instincts’ and failing to take a careful history can lead to adverse consequences.

    Picture credit: © Xalanx/Deposit Photos. Model used for illustrative purposes only.

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