Journal Article
Study

Missed Serious Neurologic Conditions in Emergency Department Patients Discharged With Nonspecific Diagnoses of Headache or Back Pain.

Dubosh NM, Edlow JA, Goto T, Camargo CA, Hasegawa K. Missed Serious Neurologic Conditions in Emergency Department Patients Discharged With Nonspecific Diagnoses of Headache or Back Pain. Ann Emerg Med. Oct, 2019 [epub Feb, 2019];74(4):549-561.

Misdiagnosis of a neurologic emergency such as stroke can lead to serious morbidity or mortality. Using a large multi-state database, this study examined the likelihood of readmission or inpatient mortality among patients who were initially discharged with nonspecific diagnoses of headache or back pain and found that 0.5% of headache and 0.2% of back pain patients experienced an inpatient death or serious neurological event after ED discharge. Extrapolated to a national level, this translates to over 55,000 patients with adverse outcomes due to a missed diagnosis for headache or back pain.