The frequency of diagnostic errors in radiologic reports depends on the patient's age.

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Abstract

Background: Patients who undergo treatment may suffer preventable medical errors. Some of these errors are due to diagnostic imaging procedures. Purpose: To compare the frequency of diagnostic errors in different age groups in an urban European population. Material and Methods: A total of 19 129 reported radiologic examinations were included. During a 6-month period, the analyzed age groups were: children (aged 0-9 years), adults (40-49 years), and elderly (86-95 years). Results: The frequency of radiologic examinations per year was 0.3 in children, 0.6 in adults, and 1.1 in elderly. Significant errors were significantly more frequent in the elderly (1.7%) and children (1.4%) compared with adults (0.8%). There were 60 false-positive reports and 232 false-negative reports. Most errors were made by staff radiologists after hours when they reported on examinations outside their area of expertise. Conclusion: Diagnostic errors are more frequent in children and the elderly compared with middle-aged adults.

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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)934-938
JournalActa radiologica (Stockholm, Sweden : 1987)
Volume51
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

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