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New IOM Report Mirrors Dr Gunn’s Experience of Losing Her Sister to a Delay in Diagnosis Medical Error


With the new Institute of Medicine (IOM) report released on 9/22/15, Dr Carol Gunn is encouraged that there will be more awareness regarding patient safety.  An independent report in 2013 estimated an alarming 200,000-400,000 deaths a year from medical errors.  This new IOM report, ”Improving Diagnosis in Health Care” looks at errors caused specifically by inaccurate or delayed diagnoses.    By this IOM report, the magnitude of diagnostic errors is described as, “..all of us will likely experience a meaningful diagnostic error in our lifetime.”
 “Seeing an increased interest in improving diagnostic errors in medicine is critical, since so many people have been affected by misdiagnosis”, said Dr Carol E Gunn, a practicing physician.  She knows all too well. Her older sister died from delays in diagnosing chest pain at a well-respected teaching hospital in 2014. It literally took months for her sister’s doctors to identify that her ongoing chest pain was related to her heart. By the time they did, her sister’s heart was so badly damaged that she had a fatal cardiac arrhythmia days later and died. Dr Gunn found the errors and brought them back to the hospital’s attention.
Dr Gunn recently gave a Tedx called, “Medical Errors: The Silent Killer in Medicine” that should be released to YouTube within the next week. She found that sharing her sister’s and her story to be cathartic. Her new website offers others the opportunity to share their stories of medical errors at website.    


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