A patient presents to the hospital with shortness of breath and pain running from his abdominal area into the patient’s chest.
The patient explains to the triage nurse that the pain he is feeling is like nothing other than he has felt in his life and that the pain level was a 10 out of 10.
Notes from the triage station also showed that the patient had an elevated blood pressure.
From the time the patient showed up to the emergency room with the above symptoms, an hour passed before the patient was seen by a doctor.
When the doctor assessed the patient, only a basic workup of the patient was done, with no evidence of a differential diagnosis even being performed.
Three hours later the patient had suffered a stroke while still in the emergency room.
When doctors begin emergency procedures to treat the patient’s heart attack it was discovered that the patient had also suffered a stroke.
A differential diagnosis is important because it helps doctors get to the correct diagnosis of the patient by listening to the patient’s symptoms.
In essence the doctor will make a list of all the possible diagnoses based on the patient’s complaints and order tests to either confirm or rule out the diagnosis.
If you have suffered a heart attack or stroke because you think that your emergency room doctors did not pay attention to the clear signs that you were under distress, this is what we invite you to do.
Pick up the phone and give us a call.
We can be reached at 301-850-4832. We answer questions like yours all the time and we would be glad to listen to your story.