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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I thought this was an odd response: A father’s intuition on misdiagnosis

John James' story:
Early in my son's failed diagnosis I told his lead cardiologist that I could get a previous electrocardiogram [which produces graphs of the heart's electrical activity over time] done a few months before my son's non-fatal collapse. That cardiologist wasn't interested in this previous EKG. Since I carried a small card in my wallet with my EKG, I thought this was an odd response from the cardiologist if he knew what he was doing. My intuition said I need to find another hospital for my son. Unfortunately, I did not follow my intuition and my son lost his life to incompetent medical care. The changes in my son's EKG would have pointed the way to the proper diagnosis, which was acquired long QT syndrome [a rare heart condition].

John James' Advice: If I could tell patients only one thing it would be to follow your intuition. If you think there is something wrong where you or a loved one is being diagnosed or treated then take charge, get a second opinion, or just get out.

Read a happier story about the role of a patient’s intuition in choosing medical treatment. Thanks to John James for this story.

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