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Bedside Ultrasounds May Reduce the Risk of Misdiagnosis

By Lipton Law on August 16, 2011 - No comments

When examining a patient in an emergency room, hospital room, or doctor’s office, physicians have used certain tools for years, including the stethoscope, tongue depressors, and blood pressure cuffs. Soon, the ultrasound may join the basic physical exam toolkit, according to a recent article in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Ultrasound is a painless, non-invasive procedure that bounces sound waves off the body’s interior tissues and uses the feedback to create an image. Originally, ultrasounds were performed by radiologists and their staff, who were trained in taking X-rays and similar images of the body. Recently, however, ultrasound technology has become cheaper, more efficient, and more portable. These innovations make ultrasound technology an option for bedside use.

Ultrasound is already used at the bedside in some procedures, including thoracentesis and lumbar punctures, where it’s important to see precisely where in the body medical instruments are being inserted. However, rules and procedures for using ultrasounds at the bedside have not yet been developed. Eventually, researchers hope that ultrasound use will help reduce the chances of an incorrect or delayed diagnosis causing harm to a patient.

Thousands of citizens in the United States suffer the consequences of a delayed or incorrect diagnosis for their specific medical condition each year. The results can be permanently damaging or even fatal. If you or someone you love has suffered due to a medical misdiagnosis, the experienced Michigan medical misdiagnosis attorneys at Lipton Law may be able to help. Call us today at 248-557-1688 for a free and confidential consultation.